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It's a Goodyear for Collaboration with SafeAI

Dec. 15, 2020
Tire manufacturer and autonomous platform provider team up to further maximize construction environments.

Good things happen when innovative companies work together. This is the goal of the collaboration between Goodyear and SafeAI, a pioneer in autonomous heavy equipment. The two companies have entered a strategic relationship to collaboratively incorporate tire intelligence into the programming of autonomous heavy equipment vehicles. Through an integration with the SafeAI autonomous ecosystem, the companies will exchange site data to protect tire health, eliminate downtime and contribute to a smarter, safer standard for the construction industry.

“By understanding how autonomous vehicles operate, we can help better predict maintenance, improve tire longevity and reduce the carbon impact of fleets,” Chris Queen, Goodyear's director, innovation technology tells IndustryWeek. “Together, we are exploring incorporating tire information into the autonomous vehicle driving algorithms to help enhance the overall safety and operational efficiency.” 

Specifically, tire intelligence from Goodyear's TPMS Heavy Duty rim-mounted sensors will be deployed at an active construction site in Cupertino, Calif. With this collaboration, Goodyear will outfit a Caterpillar 725, retrofitted with SafeAI's autonomous software, to capture pressure and temperature data and monitor overall tire health. These sensors can identify and communicate adverse conditions before they cause maintenance issues and derail a project.

“SafeAI is pioneering an ecosystem approach for autonomous heavy equipment, and this partnership with Goodyear very much brings to life that model. Our interoperable tech stack invites autonomy to play with tire intelligence, so the entire system is working efficiently together to scale autonomous operations. This integration allows industry leaders like Goodyear to augment their existing technology, so together the two companies can inform future innovation and advance autonomy in construction and mining,” Bibrajit Halder, founder & CEO at SafeAI tells IndustryWeek.

According to Halder, tire health is a central factor in uptime, which is hugely important and yet hard to preserve. “The more we know about the tires on our job sites, the better equipped we are to identify potential threats to uptime, and ultimately enable the 24/7 promise of efficiency that autonomy offers,” he says. “Unplanned downtime estimates are as high as 20-30%, which quickly add up to lengthy delays and high costs. Those numbers are even higher in the pandemic.”

Tire intelligence can help mitigate these challenges by identifying early or potential problems, such as underinflation, before they cause unexpected delays – bolstering efficiency, safety and return on investment. In working with Goodyear, SafeAI’s platform hosts a wealth of data including location, speed, RPM and more—with Goodyear’s temperature and pressure data, arming operators with a comprehensive view of equipment performance.

“Goodyear is applying gathered knowledge from pilots to help deliver performance and safety with autonomous vehicles,” says Queen. “Collected data will also deliver insights into the difference between an autonomous and human driver and how those differences can lead to improved tire designs.” 

No matter the vehicle – automobile, freight truck or dump truck – tire intelligence can help elevate safety, performance and efficiency, according to Chris Helsel, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technology officer. "Through our work with SafeAI, we will not only empower site operators with greater visibility and efficiency, but also gain invaluable performance data to inform our future innovation in autonomy and heavy equipment," said Helsel in a statement. 

About the Author

Peter Fretty | Technology Editor

As a highly experienced journalist, Peter Fretty regularly covers advances in manufacturing, information technology, and software. He has written thousands of feature articles, cover stories, and white papers for an assortment of trade journals, business publications, and consumer magazines.

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