Bridgestone announced it will showcase its comprehensive vision for sustainable mobility at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 5-8, that will center around three key themes:
Renewable natural rubber and tire recycling: Guayule is a domestically sourced natural rubber that is derived from desert shrubs in the arid regions of the U.S. and Mexico, and Bridgestone is co-developing tire recycling technologies as part of its EVERTIRE INITIATIVE.
“Smart Corner” digitally connected tires and air springs for EVs: Vehicle performance, efficiency, safety and comfort are enhanced through sensor-enabled tires and air springs.
Digital concierge for personal and fleet vehicle management: Vehicle owners and operators are empowered with online, concierge-style vehicle management tools to service their vehicles on their terms.
The delivery of sustainable mobility requires each stage of the tire and rubber product’s life—from manufacturing and ownership to maintenance and end-of-life material circularity—to consider the most responsible processes and tools for each step. At CES, Bridgestone says it will demonstrate its vision of end-to-end tire ownership and vehicle management experience with the ultimate goal of carbon-neutral transportation in the future.
Making a More Sustainable Tire
Bridgestone says it committed to the target of increasing the use of recycled and renewable materials to 40 percent of its resources by 2030 and achieving the goal of using 100 percent sustainable materials by 2050. At CES, the company will showcase several key elements of its aim for a sustainable and circular tire economy.
A renewable alternative source of natural rubber, guayule, produces natural rubber with properties equal to that derived from hevea. Guayule is a desert shrub native to arid regions of the U.S. and Mexico and requires 40% less water than crops such as alfalfa and cotton, grown today in the American southwest. The company has invested more than $100 million in the development and commercialization of guayule-derived natural rubber and currently operates a 281-acre research farm, a bio-processing pilot plant and several grower partnerships with local farmers and Native American tribes. Bridgestone is working to educate local growers on climate-smart farming techniques and irrigation to help them adapt to the current hardships caused by the environmental changes, with the aim of planting more than 25,000 acres of guayule before the end of the decade.
In early 2022, Bridgestone announced its EVERTIRE INTIATIVE focused on the recycling of tires at the end of their useful life to create new tires. Through this global effort, the company is working with partners in the co-development of tire recycling technologies. One example of this is the bioprocessing of end-of-life tires through a fermentation process. The materials resulting from this process are fit for re-use in the manufacturing of new tires.
Enabling the Autonomous and Electric Future
The Bridgestone Smart Corner solution is a demonstration of the ability to enhance the performance, comfort and efficiency of electric and autonomous vehicles, while maximizing the lifespan of tires and air springs.
The solution combines premium Bridgestone tires and Firestone Airide (previously Firestone Industrial Products) air springs that are engineered specifically for electric and autonomous vehicle applications, according to Bridgestone. The Smart Corner solution uses embedded, cloud-connected sensors in both the tires and air springs, enabling Bridgestone to deliver real-time and predictive insights that elevate safety, efficiency and productivity. The Bridgestone ENLITEN EV Concept Tire is constructed of new materials that are both renewable and energy-efficient, reducing rolling resistance to increase battery range while meeting the demands for higher loads and wear resistance associated with EVs.
The ENLITEN EV Concept Tire is paired with Firestone Airide Concept EV Air Springs, designed as part of the integrated corner system tire to optimize efficiency and ride quality. This digitally connected air spring will adapt to dynamic loads and enable active suspension systems to further isolate noise, vibration and harshness, while maximizing safety and efficiency without compromise to ride comfort. The air spring also enables proactive vehicle ride-height adjustment to maximize aerodynamic efficiency, improve user accessibility and protection of underfloor components in urban and off-road environments.
Empowering the Vehicle Owner
Bridgestone Fleet Care combines data-connected tires with on-board vehicle systems to automate or empower owners with vehicle care. Whether it’s a single personal car or a full fleet of last-mile delivery vans, the fleet care solution integrates seamlessly into vehicle systems to gather data for routine maintenance, service needs, tire wear predictions, and more into a single online experience, Bridgestone says.
The data is interpreted to show the status of each vehicle’s needs in advance and can provide service options to resolve those needs with the push of a button. The fleet care solution is connected to a network of company-owned, independent, and mobile service providers and allows the vehicle owner to choose which services to conduct on their terms. Digital payment is equally easy, and all services can be reconciled through a single payment option or the enrollment in a vehicle maintenance subscription service, according to Bridgestone.
This platform empowers fleets to be more productive, operate more efficiently and economical, and Bridgestone aims to bring this same level of premium, personalized value and service to the family fleet and the fleet of one. Bridgestone says it is delivering a new customer experience through solutions that help make the vehicles and fleets we depend on operate more efficient while keeping us on our journey.
The Bridgestone Sustainable Mobility Vision supports Bridgestone’s E8 Commitment that consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) to realize a sustainable society.
Bridgestone will be on display in Booth 5867 in West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. CES 2023 media days are Jan. 3-4, 2023, and public days are Jan. 5-8, 2023.