Bridgestone has launched a development project in partnership with ZMP Inc. to utilize automated driving in tire noise tests.
This project entails outsourcing the development of an automated driving system that incorporates Bridgestone’s tire test expertise to ZMP, the company that creates products and services based on its advanced robotics technologies. The companies have already succeeded in using automotive driving of manned vehicles at a Bridgestone’s proving ground, and are working to achieve SAE-Level 4 automated driving of unmanned vehicles for practical application in tire noise tests in 2019.
Currently, Bridgestone is conducting various tire performance tests on its proving grounds that involve test drivers operating vehicles. This new joint development project with ZMP is aimed at achieving automated driving for tire noise tests. In this project, ZMP conducts development of technologies for automated driving of vehicles for movement within proving grounds tire noise tests using its automated driving vehicle, “RoboCar MiniVan,” and Bridgestone’s expertise in various tire tests.
Recently, tire noise regulations have been introduced in Europe, Asia, Japan and other countries and regions around the world, a trend that is indicative of a larger movement calling for the reduction of the noise produced by tires when driving. By introducing tire noise tests using automated driving to perform tests without relying on the skills and expertise of test drivers, Bridgestone aims to improve the accuracy and efficiency of tire tests and thereby increase the quality of its tire products. In addition, Bridgestone hopes to utilize the insight gained through this project in the development of tires for self-driving cars and other next-generation automobiles.