Jump to content

Michelin to launch new regional drive tire


Recommended Posts

Fleet Owner  /  June 14, 2017

New tire focuses on traction upgrade in effort to reclaim some share in the market.

MONTREAL, QUE. Michelin is getting ready to launch a new regional drive tire on July 1 that it expects will trump its previous regional drive tires and be more in line with what fleets want.

Ralph Dimenna, COO of Michelin Americas, truck tires, told Fleet Owner during Michelin’s "Movin On" mobile sustainability event in Montreal the new tire is an effort to reclaim some share in a part of the market where it hasn’t quite delivered the optimal product for fleets.

“There is a 60% to 65% increase in longevity and a real big upgrade in traction, which is where we kind of had a problem," Dimenna said about the tire. "We’ve had a very low fuel-economy tire, but the traction hasn’t been what the market wanted. But we have a great increase in traction on this new product.”

The new tire will contain radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, which the company said it would add to each of its truck tires to provide better tire life data to its fleet customers. RFID tags allow fleets to better track their tire assets and better understand the lifecycle of their tire casings.

“We are starting to see some fleets that are starting to think more about how they are going to use [RFID tags] and how it can help them improve their operations and improve their overall cost of doing business,” Dimenna noted. “That’s the exciting part about the RFID – it really changes the conversation from just ‘what product do I have, but to how is that product helping me manage my business better.’ ”

During a separate press conference, Serge Lafon, executive vice president of the truck product line at Michelin, explained that within two to three years, all Michelin tires will include RFID tags. Not only do the tags trace tire pressure and determine when a tire needs to be replaced, but they also can be used to exonerate a fleet and prove proper maintenance has been done if the need arises, Lafon said.

“When a fleet – a coach fleet, for example that carriers passengers – is in an accident they have to prove the fleet has been maintained and repaired properly,” Lafon explained. This, he said, is when data from RFID tags becomes essential.

Lafon also mentioned that Michelin is developing a mobile app for its Michelin Tire Care service, which was launched in 2015 and is designed to assist fleets in identifying tire issues that lead to downtime, low mileage, high fuel costs and safety risks.

And when it comes to emissions reduction and fuel efficiency efforts, Dimenna told Fleet Owner that though Michelin is watching future greenhouse gas (GHG) emission requirements, the company tries not to predict the regulatory front.

“We understand that fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions are top of mind for many fleets,” he explained. “We think it’s long term, not a conversation that’s going to change. Whether there’s any change in the short-term or any timing of regulations, I’d say that’s a secondary question. We want to be a leader in that space. We think it’s important to our customers, it’s important to the Michelin brand to be a leader in terms of fuel economy, and it’s important to our business on the commercial truck side as well that we can combine exceptional fuel economy with the other attributes that are important to fleets.”

Regarding some of the main challenges in the heavy-duty trucking industry, such as driver retention and freight rates, Dimenna said Michelin is trying to better understand those issues for its customers when determining the type of product and services it releases.

And when it comes to sustainable mobility, Dimenna said it is no longer a movement, but an expectation.

“I think regardless of market, we hear the same thing everywhere we go: People are concerned about the impact we are having on this planet,” he noted. “We want to be a durable partner and make sure we are a thought leader and actionable leader in the way we treat our responsibility to the environment.” 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More regulations in store for truck tires, technology

Fleet Owner  /  June 15, 2017

Broad use of RFID tags in tires is one way technology can aid with compliance, Michelin executives said.

MONTREAL, QUE. Incoming regulations are expected to bring more demand on technology for truck tires that will reduce resistance and noise, according to Serge Lafon, head of Group Michelin Truck.

During Michelin’s Movin’On sustainable mobility event here in Montreal this week, Lafon told reporters that better, safer and cleaner mobility has been a trend within in the trucking industry for some time now, but that improvements still need to be made.

“We have seen that over time, we need to improve the ride [of tires] because the trucks are getting so much time on the road,” Lafon explained.

“It still needs improvement, but we need to make sure that when we use materials that go in the direction of less rolling resistance then it doesn’t degrade, so we need to upgrade that and that’s what we’re doing," he added. "In terms of noise, it’s getting more and more important but there are not so many regulations. In coming years, we expect more regulations and especially in the low-end segments of the trucks – the less than 20-ton segment – will be more subsequent to regulations on noise in the future.”

In an effort to address the regulatory and fleet demands of truck tires, Lafon said Michelin incorporated RFID tags in its tires, which used to be just a concept.

He noted the company added RFID in its technology center about 10 years ago and just recently launched it. So this year, one tire out of two will be produced and sold with an RFID chip, he added. Almost all tires sold in North America this year will be sold with chips and about more than 90% in Europe.

However, asked whether or not RFID tags would be viable in an autonomous market, Lafon said: “RFID, per se, will not be needed in an autonomous market as it will not report or record real-time data.”

Overall, when it comes to autonomous driving technology, Lafon said he believes it will be more important in the truck business than with passenger vehicles due to the professional truck driver shortage.

“Driving a truck is tough work. So many people are tending to do something else where they are better paid or less difficult,” Lafon explained. “So in that context, getting autonomous vehicles are said to make it easier.”

During a panel discussion on connected vehicles, cybersecurity and the user experience here at Movin’On, Joachim Damasky noted that since user error makes up about 90% of all accidents, autonomous vehicles could be the way to go to address a lot of global safety issues.

“We will not have autonomous driving or fully autonomous driving in the near future,” he explained, noting that it will take about 10 years for autonomous vehicles to be fully implemented," he said.

Dan Galves, senior vice president, chief communication officer for Mobileye, was also on the panel. He said autonomous vehicles will end up taking the steering wheel out of people’s hands and giving people their time back and allowing them to leave work an hour earlier because they can do their emails while driving instead of focusing on the road.

“It’s not going to happen tomorrow,” he explained. “We are going to go through a period of 8-10 years of vehicles going through more and more training. It scares us to have incidents happening with companies that are not as safe as they should be with the technology and the way the public perceives it.”

Fellow panelist Ian Drew, chairman Tantalum Corporation, said in order for the autonomous business model to succeed, it needs to be driven outside the car industry and focus on day-to-day security.

“How do you put security in cars to make sure no cars get hacked,” he asked. “As soon as we’re connecting cars, there are bad guys out there and they will hack them. Make sure the protective software gets integrated and that we’re not driving around for five years with gaping holes. “

“Make it as hard as possible to be hacked and fix it as quickly as possible” Drew concluded. “Make sure everybody is connected. There will have to be legislation put in.” 


image 1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...