Tyres in Brisbane – Tyre development to rival Star Wars science fiction

Tyres in Brisbane –  Self-inflating and self-grooving tyres are around the corner

I sometimes sit and wonder about the future of driving, cars, commercial vehicles, and, of course, tyres in Brisbane. The way that the automotive market has changed in even the last twenty years or so has been remarkable.

Cars used to be big and square. They’re now smaller and sleeker, and yet have more space for passengers and luggage. Steering commercial vehicles used to require Popeye-sized muscles. The dashboard used to consist of only a speedometer and a temperature gauge. Sit at the steering wheel of a modern vehicle, and you could be in the cockpit of a Jedi starfighter.

Now, companies are racing to be the first mass-producer of driverless vehicles. Though I have to confess the latest ‘no-hands parking’ functionality will be a godsend to many, I do wonder if such automation will remove the enjoyment of driving for many. Will there be a point when drivers say “enough is enough”, or will technology continue to shape our driving experience? And what is the future for the car and commercial vehicle tyres (especially here in Brisbane)?

In this article, I look at what the automotive and tyre industry might have in store for all of us.

The digital age is going to deliver better performance

Vehicles are going to get faster. They’re going to become greener, deliver more kilometres per litre and become more interactive, but with less driver interaction.

The digital age has already delivered engines that are monitored by a hundred and one sensors. A mechanic no longer pops the bonnet and spends ten minutes looking around your engine and listening to it in physical examination. He plugs it into an all-knowing digital analyser, which pinpoints an issue in seconds.

When you’re driving, you benefit from external sensors that help you reverse in tight spaces, alert you if you get too close to the vehicle ahead, and ring alarms the moment your tyres touch a white line. Like I’ve already said, car dashboards are like something out of Star Wars.

There’s a lot more to come, and developments are going to come thick and fast.

The new age of the supercar is here

Auto magazines are already predicting that supercars that can travel at more than 300 km per hour will be in production within four years. These cars will have just four cylinders as standard. Ford’s EcoBoost Mustang reaches around 230 km per hour, costs around US$25,000, and is already helping Mustang break sales records in the United States.

Supercars with smaller engines, offering better fuel consumption and faster top speeds will be standard in a few years. Perhaps not everything the average petrolhead wants to hear, but definitely the direction of the market.

Lighter cars equal lower fuel bills

The world is going green and lean, and this philosophy is the direction in which vehicle manufacturing is travelling. Carbon emissions are reducing, but the use of carbon fibre is increasing in the production of cars and commercial vehicles. It’s robust and stiff, and it’s lightweight, too. This weight advantage is going to help fuel consumption and performance. Manufacturers are developing carbon fibre parts to replace steel and aluminium used today. By 2020, the automotive industry will be the world’s largest consumer of carbon fibre, which will help to further reduce carbon emissions.

Hybrid cars will become the norm

Battery and engine management advances have helped manufacturers produce hybrid engine cars that will soon be the norm. Fuel economy is going to sprint forward, and roads are going to become quieter – I drove a hybrid recently and thought the engine had cut out at every light!

Reduced driver interaction

We’re already starting to get used to cars that make decisions for us. Cruise control has been around for a while now, and newer technology like distance control is becoming more common. How far can this technology take us? Self-driving vehicles are around the corner, and cars like the Tesla Model S and BMW 7 Series already have technology that self-corrects performance for different road and weather conditions – drivers don’t even know their decisions are being made for them.

Greater vehicle interaction

Where drivers will be relieved of much of their current in-vehicle responsibilities, vehicles themselves will become more interactive. They’ll start talking to each other.

There’ll come a time, and it could be very soon, that vehicles alert other vehicles in bad road conditions, heavy traffic, bad weather, and so on. Your vehicle’s Sat Nav system will update its route in real time, as all this information from other road users is downloaded and crunched at superfast speeds.

The future for tyres in the new age of driving

If you think all the above is exciting stuff, then listen to what could be in store for the rubber between you and Brisbane’s roads.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how commercial vehicle tyres just took a giant leap forward. We can expect more advances over the next few years. You’ll see new tyre compounds, and tread patterns will evolve for greater safety. Road handling capability will increase, but that’s not all. Here’s what tyre manufacturers have got up their sleeves:

  • Chips located inside the tyre will connect the tyre to the engine like never before. Just like vehicles will talk to each other, tyres will talk to the vehicle.
  • The Tyres will evolve with the road conditions underneath, altering their air pressures to give better traction.
  • Tyres that renew their tread grooves – retreading could be a thing of the past.
  • Tyres that self-inflate.
  • Airless tyres that offer a smoother and safer drive.

Within a decade, the tyres we use on the roads in Brisbane could be a galaxy away from today’s models. It might sound a little science fiction, but we really could be driving on tyres that are safer, greener, perform better, and last longer. Or maybe we won’t be driving on them, but merely sitting in a car that transports us from A to B without the need for driver interaction.

Whatever the future for cars and commercial vehicles, tyres will evolve, too. Tyre manufacturers are spending billions of dollars every year to bring tomorrow’s tyres to you today.

Whatever your tyre needs – high performance, better handling, longer life – contact us today (by Skype, or on our contact form) or phone us on 3333 5510 and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane. You’ll find the latest tyres with the most modern technology are on our shelves.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

About the Author

Kevin has been at the forefront of the tyre industry for over 20 years. Kevin's speciality is in industrial and commercial tyres including the management and upkeep of fleets. Kevin has worked with vehicles his whole career from painting, mechanical, suspension and panel beating he has also spent time in the Australia Army as a driver. He has driven all size of vehicles throughout his career so understands the demands placed on drivers.