A new sensor makes it possible to obtain data on the condition of the tires in a very timesaving, simple, and manufacturer-independent manner. This allows them to run optimally adjusted, which leads to greater fuel efficiency and a longer tire life. The new sensor also contributes to Continental’s “Lowest Overall Driving Costs” (LODC) concept. In this way, the premium tire manufacturer supports fleet operators in running their fleets more safely, sustainably, and cost-efficiently.
The solution is simple: a valve cap sensor is screwed directly onto the tire valve of buses, trucks, or trailers. From there, it measures the tire pressure in real time. The sensor is compatible with commercial vehicle tires from all major brands and connects via plug-and-play to ContiConnect receiver units. Deviations from the target conditions are recorded in the eponymous tire management platform accordingly and forwarded to the user. A QR code on the valve cap sensor is used to easily assign the sensor to the respective tire position. This means that no special reading tool is required to determine the position. It is done via a mobile device using the ContiConnect On-Site app.
“Our new solution with the valve cap sensor offers fleets a quick entry into the world of ContiConnect. For installation, the tires do not have to be removed. This reduces downtime to a minimum. The information processed in the tire management platform then enables fleet operators to optimize maintenance intervals and extend the operating times of their vehicles,” said Clarisa Doval, Head of Digital Solutions at Continental Tires.
There are two options for transmitting the data collected by the valve cap sensor: via a yard reader station or as a live version with a telematics unit. With the yard reader solution, a readout station is installed at busy points in the fleet, e.g., at car washes, refueling stations or other checkpoints within the depot. It reads the data from the tire sensors as the vehicles drive past and sends it to the Continental IoT platform. The live solution requires a receiver unit to be installed in the tractor unit or trailer. These telematics units transmit the data to the Continental IoT platform in real time.
All collected and transmitted data is displayed in the ContiConnect On-Site app and can be accessed in the web portal – via desktop app or mobile device. If a pressure loss is detected, for example, the system triggers corresponding alarms. Users are then notified by text message, email or via the app. The app can also be used to document tread depth measurements or tire damage recorded during a vehicle inspection.
Both small and large fleets benefit from Continental’s new entry-level solution. This is because equipping a vehicle with the valve cap sensor can be done in just a few minutes, and retrofitting an entire fleet only takes a few hours. After all, monitoring tires is one way of increasing vehicle efficiency and thus reducing fleet costs. Although tires account for only about five percent of investment costs for a truck fleet, they can account for more than half of all operating costs. This is because if a tire loses air unnoticed or is driven with the wrong air pressure, the rolling resistance increases and with it the fuel consumption. In addition, in the event of a flat tire, the vehicle or trailer is no longer operational until it is repaired.
When a vehicle is due for a regular tire change, fleet operators can choose whether to opt for an intelligent tire with a factory-fitted sensor from Continental, and thus for a comprehensive package of digital-based tire services. Continental tires from the Commercial Specialty Tires division are already equipped with sensors at the factory. The same applies to tires for bus fleets: Continental supplies the entire ContiUrban tire line with the latest generation of sensors. In addition, Continental offers to equip the third generation of truck tires – Conti Hybrid, Conti Efficient Pro, Conti CrossTrac – with sensors directly from the factory at customer’s request.
Continental Tires systematically develops new business models and is creating an entire ecosystem of smart digital solutions centered on its premium tires. By 2030, the tire manufacturer wants to be number one for service-based digital solutions. Already today, Continental offers fleet customers an extensive range of tire services whenever and wherever they are required.