TyreWatch predictive tyre management was launched on Wednesday 16th May at the Harwell Innovation and Science Campus in Oxfordshire.

Tyre related issues remain the most common cause of roadside breakdown for fleet operators. With research performed by Highways England and Bridgestone over the past 18 months, confirming that three-quarters of tyre failure is the consequence of under-inflation or debris penetration. TyreWatch is designed to improve productivity and efficiency across your fleet, through keeping a persistent watch on the condition of your tyres.

TyreWatch constantly monitors pressure and temperature with sensors mounted on the wheel rim. This enables it to work with your existing tyres and across fleets running multi-brand tyre policies. Where it differs from other TPMS solutions, is it sends data back to a central server for analysis. Data is securely sent using both cellular and satellite communications to achieve connectivity virtually everywhere, irrespective of 4G signal strength. There is no display for the driver to observe, just a dash mounted warning light.

The TyreWatch server receives tyre data in real-time and publishes it to the secure web portal and through a series of instant push notifications. This delivers visibility on the condition of every tyre in the fleet from the comfort of the fleet managers’ desk. The server continuously analyses the data against specific baselines for each vehicle. Should it identify an escalating pressure or temperature trend, the artificial intelligence recommends appropriate corrective action.

Glenn Sherwood, Director of TyreWatch, explained: “If the pressure loss is slow and above warning baselines, then TyreWatch issues a maintenance alert and continues to monitor for correction when it returns to the depot or workshop. This catches the issue early, removing the risk for roadside failure tomorrow.”

Mark Longden, Director, added: “We audit new fleets when installing TyreWatch, typically finding the average pressure is 10% below the manufacturers’ specification. This increases fuel consumption by 1% and tyre wear by 10%. With TyreWatch providing better visibility on pressures across your fleet, you’ll benefit from reduced fuel consumption, extending the service life of your tyres and minimising your carbon footprint too.”

Sherwood continued: “If the pressure loss or temperatures are increasing quickly, the technology raises a critical alert. The driver can safely find a location to stop so the tyre service provider can take corrective action. This reduces unexpected downtime, improves road safety for everyone and saves the tyre if it is repairable.”

Innovatively, the system continues to monitor after the vehicle has finished for the day. With the frequency of monitoring reduced to every 15 minutes, it will detect a puncture caused by debris as the vehicle returned to base. Depending on your service agreement, the tyre could be repaired before the vehicle is ready for its day’s work.

TyreWatch is built on open system architecture allowing integration with technology already installed by vehicle manufacturers. This could be utilising their tyre sensors, having the warning light function on the dash, to feeding information from load sensors to the server for monitoring, and much more. This also provides third-party telematics providers the opportunity to augment their business proposition. This white-label approach underlines that TyreWatch is very much about the software as a service, rather than just hardware sales. Naturally, you can still purchase the complete retrofit solution for vehicles and trailers.

Sherwood closed with: “Under testing, TyreWatch has prevented 95% of tyre-related breakdowns – saving tyres, unexpected downtime and the cost of roadside breakdowns. Significantly, it improves road safety for everyone, optimises your tyre servicing and provides a compliance report for your peace of mind.”

TyreWatch is the product of the Pathway to Autonomous Commercial Vehicles consortium, comprising Tructyre Fleet Management, RL Automotive, Satellite Applications Catapult and the University of Portsmouth. The consortium received £1.2 million of funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through their Innovate UK program, to design an intelligent tyre telematics solution for the planned implementation of autonomous and platooned commercial vehicles on to the UK’s roads.