Aaron Franklin, CTO, Tyrata
Can you tell us about your work at Tyrata?
Tyrata started with the invention of a sensor that is placed on the inner liner of tires and uses wireless signals to measure the tread depth. While working to develop and test this Internal Tread Sensor technology, which was originally invented at and licensed from Duke University, Tyrata was pulled in a complementary direction by a number of customers in the tire and fleet industries. These customers wanted a solution for tire tread monitoring that did not require installation within the tire. In response, we developed the IntelliTread® Drive-Over System (DOS™), which uses wireless signals to measure tread depth as a vehicle drives over the speed bump-like system. Our DOS solution is now deployed in a variety of customer sites all over the world, providing unprecedented access to tire wear data that yields game-changing analytics for improving safety, performance, sustainability, and profitability.
Why have you decided to present at Traction 2022
I’ve now been in the tire sensor field for about 5 years and the Traction Summit was the first conference in the tire space that I attended. Each time I have attended the Traction Summit I have found an engaging audience comprised of representatives from nearly every major tire company and other stakeholders in the industry. Considering this year’s topic of “Sustainability in Tires” and its alignment with the sustainability advantages we have already been able to show with our DOS tire tread monitoring solution, it was a really easy decision to make to attend this year!
Why is this meeting and the topic of sustainability important to the tire industry?
Considering the environmental impact the tire industry has from rubber consumption alone, there is a pressing need for improved sustainability. Using first-of-its-kind analytics from tire tread monitoring data obtained with the IntelliTread DOS, we’ve been able to show that extending tire life by as little as 12% can result in a reduction of 350kg CO2e per vehicle per year. While manufacturers are working to innovate more sustainable tire compounds and manufacturing processes, it’s also critical to address tire usage through the safe extension of usage life where both cost savings and environmental footprint reduction are advantages.
The title of your talk is “Case Study on Sustainability Using Tyrata’s Drive-Over System for Tread Wear Monitoring” why is this topic important and what do you hope delegates will take from your talk?
I think most people not directly connected to fleets would be surprised to learn that nearly all of them rely on periodic manual measurement (inspections) of tire tread rather than continuous monitoring. We’ve now shown that implementing an autonomous tread monitoring technology like the DOS allows fleets to shift from preventative maintenance to predictive maintenance. Given the cost-effectiveness of our DOS solution, I hope delegates will see how advantageous such automated tread monitoring can be for safely extending tire usage life, reducing overall costs, and improving vehicle uptime.
What are some of the industry barriers that prevent progress and how does Tyrata address them?
Perhaps the most substantial barrier to realizing widespread progress in the sustainable use of tires by fleets is the long-established tire tread measurement approach. Many fleets having been operating by a fixed preventative maintenance model for many years and done great work by it; others are growing so rapidly that it can be difficult to focus enough on the problems with their tire monitoring strategies to pursue transformative solutions. Tyrata is addressing these barriers by demonstrating the distinct advantages of implementing an autonomous tread monitoring solution for a variety of diverse fleets. The DOS is quick to install (no tearing up concrete or asphalt), unobtrusive to fleet operations, requires no maintenance, and is built on a game-changing analytics platform (Tyrata.io) to allow fleet managers to quickly shift to predictive maintenance and safe extensive of tire usage for improved sustainability and cost reduction. A final point here is that there is a considerable advantage to a tire tread monitoring solution rather than just a single ‘point-in-time’ measurement (e.g., red light = bad, green light = good approach); we live in a world that runs on data – the more data we have and properly use, the better things operate. That is the advantage gained with Tyrata’s DOS autonomously collecting tire tread data without human intervention.
Additional thoughts about Traction?
I’m looking forward to the productive discussions and perspectives that always manage to surface at the Traction Summit! There is considerable opportunity for the industry to improve sustainability of tires and I am looking forward to sharing the latest evidence for Tyrata’s IntelliTread DOS providing such a solution.