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Advancing Smart Tire Data Sharing for an Integrated, Standardized Ecosystem

If you thought tires were boring pieces of rubber, think again: they’re marvels of engineering. Very soon every smart tire will have its own passport, transmit valuable data, and have its health monitored accurately. POLYN is involved in the neuromorphic processing of tire data to enable reliable monitoring locally. This and other topics will be discussed at this week’s Tire Technology Expo 2024 in Hannover, Germany.

We talked to Riccardo Giovannotti, one of the moderators of the Expo session “Smart Tires – Innovation and Ecosystem” and the Secretary General of the Global Data Service Organization for Tires and Automotive Components. GDSO is an international non-profit organization on a mission to become the standard platform for data sharing throughout the tire ecosystem.

POLYN: Mr. Secretary General, your organization has existed for two years now. Tell us about its progress and achievements.

RG: It has been a very exciting endeavor for the whole tire industry and GDSO in particular. Established in 2022 as an initiative of five founding companies (Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli), GDSO saw two additional manufacturers, Giti and Prometeon, join along with regional tire industry associations ETRTO, JATMA, TRA, TRAC, and USTMA. Another manufacturer, Sumitomo, joined in 2023 and Nexen and Yokohama at the beginning of 2024.

It is proof that GDSO’s roadmap, priorities, and forward-looking definitively represent the tire industry and its stakeholders’ needs. We released the Tire Information Service (TIS) in the summer of 2022 to enable use cases along the tire value chain, which allowed GDSO to be acknowledged as a Data Space and TIS as a connector by international players. As of today, GDSO is the only Data Space that is in production and its adoption is scaling up in a global landscape among a few hundred initiatives across different industries.

POLYN: What are the most significant challenges in managing tire-related data, and how does the industry resolve them?

RG: Data as such is not the problem; many different industries are getting organized to work on data collection. The biggest challenge is to grant interoperability and trust among different parties. Indeed, GDSO is the result of the wish to collaborate and set the proper technical framework. It is necessary to simplify the huge step-up that the industry will be requested to make including digitalization, data transfer, new services, and new business models in a very complex ecosystem with challenging requirements.

POLYN: Who would benefit from the tire data unified point of sharing?

RG: This is the disruptive approach’s key point: everyone will benefit. The users will have just one standardized and interoperable service, no matter the tire brand, so that the exchanges between users and manufacturers can focus on their business cases, without spending time creating customized technical solutions.

But manufacturers will benefit from the common service: no matter the kind of stakeholder, one platform enables all the use cases for the same tire. For logistics, vehicle manufacturers, distributors, fleets, customs, retreaders, and end-of-life players of the tire there is no need to spend effort in implementing non-standardized solutions.

POLYN: Let’s consider the Tire Information Service role in the example of analyzing tire vibration to determine road conditions. The accelerometer data in real-time are fed into an in-tire neuromorphic chip, which reduces the original signal volume and enables long battery life for always-on-monitoring.  At what point can this solution utilize TIS?

RG: Same way; in this case, TIS may represent an asset. Does it make sense to spend computational resources, sensing, and artificial intelligence on a tire that is not properly identified? TIS enables linking all the crucial data and events collected by third parties with the very specific serialized and unique tire identity.

POLYN: How does GDSO engage with the broader automotive and tire industry community? Are there resources or tools it offers to help businesses or researchers in analyzing tire data?

RG: GDSO will be part of the CIRPASS2 project, an EU-founded activity that aims to demonstrate the benefits of sharing data along the life of some products. Sustainable Products Regulations of the European Commission will include tires on the priority list of products for which technical requirements such as the Digital Product Passport will apply. GDSO will support the technical discussion helping the tire industry be ready to cope with such regulation implementation.

In parallel, we have regular discussions with other stakeholders along the tire value chain, such as vehicle manufacturers, retreaders, and end-of-life companies to consider their needs.

We are present and vocal in international fora where compatibility and interoperability among Data Spaces are dealt with.

Last but not least, we have always had exchanges in place with tire manufacturers that are not GDSO members yet to explain the added value they may have in joining in.

POLYN: What new projects or initiatives is your organization currently working on?

RG: All our great results achieved still represent the starting point, as GDSO members urge the development of a new connector to answer forthcoming needs.  It will be presented during the Tire Technology Expo on Wednesday, March 20, 2024

POLYN: This sounds very promising! Looking forward to the announcement. Thank you, Mr. Giovannotti.

Also in the “Smart Tires – Innovation and Ecosystem” session, POLYN’s CEO Aleksandr Timofeev will explain how neural networks can be applied locally to tire data to provide real-time critical information to various systems and services.