via Khaleej Times: In line with the UAE’s vision of keeping the roads safe, a Germany-based tyre company, in cooperation with RoadSafetyUAE, has rolled out an ‘intelligent system’ for monitoring commercial and fleet service tyres on Thursday.
Continental, a German technology and tyre brand, has introduced a smart device that will send out signal to the driver and the company to manage its fleet by setting up limits on road travel, giving alerts on tyre condition and monitoring of tyre pressure data.
“Before we talk about autonomous vehicles or electric cars, we should first ensure tyre safety. Nothing gets closer to the road than the tyres and if we ensure our tyres are safe then we are sure to improve road safety,” José Luis de la Fuente, managing director of Continental Middle East, told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of Contivention, a fleet gathering session in Dubai on Thursday.
Citing a bus-truck collision on Dubai road in May, where seven people died and 35 others were injured after a bus tyre burst, Juan Uruburu Alonso, Continental Middle East head of sales, said this horrific accident could have been avoided because there is a technology to monitor tyre condition.
“We should embrace digitalisation,” Alonso said. “By continuous pressure and temperature monitoring, we can prevent under-inflation, flat tyres and, worse, blowouts,” he explained.
Alonso said a sensor is attached to the tyre which sends signal to the driver. Then data are collected to provide information on tyre condition which eventually lead to increased tyre life and reduction of fuel consumption.
Alonso noted that in the Middle East, 54 per cent of measured trucks and trailers are under-inflated, resulting in enormous and unpredictable costs for fleets. He added that in Europe, out of the 125,000 breakdowns across the continent in 2015, 26.8 per cent or 33,500 of these incidents were caused by tyre bursts. Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said tyre safety is a critical issue.
“We need to properly educate fleet operators and influence government policies,” he said.
At the moment, the smart sensor is only applicable for commercial or fleet vehicles. But Edelmann said that “the installation of smart sensor on commercial vehicles is a big step in keeping the roads safe”.
“By having smart sensors on commercial vehicle tyres, motorists will feel safe that the bus or truck in front or at the back of them will not suddenly skid because of tyre burst,” he noted.
Drive safe with these tips
Unsafe tyres can easily create blowouts or loss of traction which can result in accidents. Here’s a safety checklist for commercial tyre safety:
>Abide by the tyre’s maximum recommended speed, which may be lower than posted speed limits
>Select the right tyre for the job, considering the proper tyre size, load-carrying capacity, speed capability and service type
>Maintain appropriate tyre pressure – A tyre which has too much or too little air pressure could overheat or become vulnerable to a tyre blowout. Set and maintain proper cold inflation pressures.
>Truck drivers should conduct a pre-trip, en-route, or post-trip inspection. If they observe any problems, the commercial vehicle should be immediately taken off the road and not operated again, until the problem is resolved
>It is important that all tyres on the commercial vehicle be suitably matched in size. Mismatched tyres could cause too much weight to be concentrated on a specific tyre or tyres, adding too much stress
>If a tyre has extensive wear, such as damaged treads or cracks and bald spots, it may not have adequate traction on the road, making braking and steering dangerous. A worn tyre is also vulnerable to blowouts. Inspect tyres frequently for damage such as cuts, cracks, bulges and penetrations
>Dual tyre contact – Commercial vehicles often utilise dual tyre configurations, placing two tyres in close proximity to each other. If these two tyres make contact with each other this can cause problems