The tire, dubbed C.A.R.E. (Connected. Autonomous. Reliable. Electrified), features sensors that generate and continuously evaluate data regarding tread depth, possible damage, tire temperature, and tire pressure. Information gathered by these sensors is transmitted to ContiConnect Live where someone can remotely manage the condition of the tire.
However, this isn’t the really interesting aspect of the concept.
Continental’s C.A.R.E. tire also has centrifugal pumps built into the wheel. As the vehicle accelerates, the centrifugal forces generated within the wheel act on the pump to generate compressed air. Continental dubs this PressureProof technology to ensure that the tire is always at the right pressure to improve efficiency and drop CO2 emissions. Any excess compressed air generated by the centrifugal forces is stored in an integrated tank that can rapidly send pressure into the tires if needed.
The tire manufacturer hasn’t said when and if such technology could make its way into the production line. What it does say is that such tire technology could provide an effective form of tire management for modern robo-taxi fleets by boosting performance and optimizing costs. Such a tire could also help aid in the efficiency of privately-owned electrified and self-driving vehicles.
Earlier this year, Continental developed its own 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain that it plans on supplying to select car manufacturers.