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Smithers Identifies 20 Disruptive Technologies To Drive Innovation In The World Tyre Market To 2040

A new report from Smithers identifies the top 20 technologies – from new materials to smart driving concepts – that will transform the global tyre industry across the next two decades.

The Future of Disruptive Technologies in the Tire Industry to 2040 is derived from an exclusive survey of technical experts, business leaders, and opinion formers in the global tyre industry. Multiple potentially disruptive innovations were identified for tyre design and raw materials; as well as key enabling technologies – such as improved sensor platforms and virtual design modelling – that the tyre industry can leverage to meeting the future demands of OEMs, regulators, and drivers.

The top seven tyre-specific disruptive technologies identified by Smithers’ in-depth survey are:

  • Advance smart tyres – The adoption of enhanced sensor platforms will push the envelope for safety in driving; as well as providing critical maintenance and performance data for fleet managers
  • Basic smart tyres – Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMSs) will increasingly be improved and integrated into vehicles so that low pressure is not just detected, but corrected automatically
  • Innovative elastomer synthesis methods – Synthesis and commercialisation of synthetic elastomers has been a foundation of improved tyre performance since the 1930s. This evolution will continue, but may be disrupted by a new grades such as Bridgestone’s gadolinium-catalysed polyisoprene, which the company claims can have equivalent or better performance than natural rubber
  • New carbon black manufacturing technology – There is an emphasis on cutting the environmental footprint of carbon black grades used in tyres. The most disruptive potential trend for this vital material is converting sustainably sourced wood biomass into carbon black
  • Non-pneumatic tyres (NPTs) – Multiple tyre companies have devoted R&D to this concept with Michelin scheduled to introduce these for GM vehicles in 2024
  • Self-healing polymers – Still at the R&D phase, this class of smart materials are polymers that can respond to damage by “healing” themselves. For example a recent Harvard University study describes a self-healing elastomer that has the fracture toughness of natural rubber and can self-heal to 30% of its original strength in 12 hours at room temperature
  • Substitution of materials of high concern – Chemicals that play a critical role in tyre performance, such as cobalt salts and PPD-based antiozonants, are coming under increased regulatory pressure in many jurisdictions. Simultaneously there is rising concern over pollution caused by tyre wear particles. This is creating a challenge to find less harmful alternatives that do not compromise key tyre performance properties.

These will be refined and adopted over the next 20 years and Smithers’ scorecards for each of the 20 technologies profiled include detailed scores for their disruptive potential in 2020, 2030, and 2040. Analysis for this report tracks how these will meet the two core future demands for improved safety and improved sustainability, as new mobility concepts enter the market.

The tyre industry is traditionally conservative, and this research is especially timely as the tyre industry responds to an unprecedented downturn in H1 2020, and leading tyre manufacturers reappraise their R&D priorities to return to profitability in a global economy radically reshaped by the Covid-19 pandemic.

To fully contextualize the evolution of the disruptive technologies and their route to market The Future of Disruptive Technologies in the Tire Industry to 2040includes export forecast scenarios of how the tyre industry will look in 2040, including consideration of key long-term trends.

These combine to give essential strategic insight for companies at every stage of the tyre value chain, from raw material producers to tire manufacturers and OEMs.

The Future of Disruptive Technologies in the Tire Industry to 2040 is available for purchase now for $6,500 (£4,750, €5,250).


Any purchase includes Smithers exclusive summary report – The Impact of Covid-19 on the Tires Industry – which gives detailed market data and scenarios for the short and medium-term effect of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on all sectors of the tire industry.y