The Journey to Automation award presented by the European Rubber Journal (ERJ) has named Continental the Overall Winner in the award’s six categories, and the winner of the Tire Technology Award. The UK-based trade journal honored Continental for its Conti C.A.R.E. tire concept.
Conti C.A.R.E. (Connected. Autonomous. Reliable. Electrification.) is a wheel/tire concept that uses cloud-based connectivity to offer fleet operators a means of mobility management. Continental has proposed fleets of autonomous electric taxis as likely users of the technology.
Conti C.A.R.E. tires feature sensors built into the structure of the tire and connected to the cloud. These sensors generate and constantly evaluate data on tread depth, possible damage, tire temperature and tire pressure. A control system known as ContiSense transmits data to the cloud in real time.
The jury praised Continental for its successful blend of innovation, IT and inspired engineering, and commended the project for embracing “a proactive approach to meeting OEM requirements with technology leverages that should have significant impacts on the wider automotive industry.”
The jury also commended the notion of actively adjusting tire pressure by means of centrifugal pumps built into the wheel. As the vehicle accelerates, the centrifugal forces within the wheel act on the pump to generate compressed air. This PressureProof technology keeps the tire pressure constantly within the ideal range, which could help to achieve a sustainable drop in emissions. Any excess compressed air is stored in an integrated tank. PressureBoost technology can also this air to rapidly adapt tire pressure to various driving scenarios. For example, autonomous electric taxis could increase their tire pressure to carry heavier loads and act as cargo carriers outside peak periods.