Tokyo—The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd, announced at the press conference for the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019 that opened on October 23 that it is currently conducting joint R&D on passenger car tire sensors with Alps Alpine Co., Ltd.
Yokohama Rubber believes that tires will need to be CASE* compliant and part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Accordingly, the company is showcasing various CASE*-compliant new technologies at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Focusing on CASE’s “Connected” aspect, Yokohama Rubber is conducting R&D with a view to developing a solutions business that uses digital tools to process and manage data about tire wear and road surface conditions in addition to its previous R&D on tire pressure monitoring.
We believe it is also important to develop systems and applications that provide data obtained from tires to drivers and certain other parties. Such systems and apps are widely expected to add value to new tire business. Accordingly, we are accelerating the development of tire sensors through a joint development effort with Alps Alpine.
* An acronym for Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services (short for car-sharing and related services, or in some cases sharing only), and Electric (for e-cars).
Alps Alpine, established in 1948, is an electronic components manufacturer that develops, manufactures, and sells information & communications components used in smartphones and other devises, in-vehicle audio equipment, and information & communications equipment. In addition to sensor development, Alps Alpine has system design and software development capabilities that we expect will deliver a synergistic effect to our new tire business model.
In 2004, Yokohama Rubber became the first tire maker in Japan to develop a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) for passenger cars. Sales of the system, dubbed “AIR watch”, began on a limited basis in 2005.
“Air watch” received a Good Design Award in 2004, and in 2006 it was named a winner in the “Functional Goods & Accessories” section of the “Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun Car Accessory Awards 2006” sponsored by the automobile industry newspaper the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (English version is the Japan Automotive Daily). In addition, since 2003, Yokohama Rubber has been selling its HiTES system as a TPMS to transportation and transport companies that require strict tire management to ensure that their trucks and buses operate more safely with greater running efficiency and lower fuel consumption that helps protect our environment.
Linking tire operation history and other vehicle data with Yokohama Rubber’s tire management system (TMS) will enable users to analyze vehicle operation trends and receive notification of the proper timing for tire inspection, thereby raising their comprehensive vehicle operation management to a new level and promoting the use of retread tires.