Hankook’s Virtual Compound Design system Recognised by Journey to Automation Awards

Premium tyre maker Hankook has received “Highly Commended” under the Tyre Manufacture – Producer category at the Journey to Automation Awards (J2A Awards). Organised by European Rubber Journal (ERJ), one of the world’s leading publications in the automotive industry, the J2A Awards recognise tyre brands’ efforts in automation and digital transformation. During its inaugural ceremony, Hankook was recognised for its Virtual Compound Design (VCD) system that predicts the characteristics of tyre compounds and finds an optimal combination through artificial intelligence (AI) analysis.

Established in 2015, the VCD system has been developed as a project to lay the foundation for Artificial Intelligence-driven tyre development. Hankook collected various data from its previous research on AI tyres and performed a series of analysis to see if it could be used as a “big data” and if AI could be applied.

In the following years, Hankook collaborated with prestigious Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) to advance the AI model the company had created. This partnership led to an improvement in accuracy by applying new AI technology such as auto machine learning (Auto-ML). This was followed by an integration of Amazon Web Services into all processes, enabling Hankook to store, process, and analyse huge amounts of data such as that gathered from the VCD system. Hankook plans to gradually integrate the AI system into its compound development process starting next year and complete the virtual compound design technology by 2023.

“We are honoured to be recognised for the challenge that we have been taking to change the future of mobility and create endless possibilities through digital transformation. We believe that our commitment to advance this new endeavour will not only transform how the tyres will be produced in the future but set a new paradigm for the entire automotive industry”, says Bonhee Ku, Senior Vice President and CTO of Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd..

Aside from the VCD system, Hankook has developed a series of AI-based technologies including “Automatic Inspection Process” based on AI and digital sensors and a facility abnormality prediction system CMS+ (Hankook Condition Monitoring System Plus) in line with the company’s ambition to lead digital transformation in the automotive industry.