When Pirelli took center stage at the Geneva International Motor Show this week the manufacturer had two big innovations to reveal.
The first was colored editions of P Zero and Winter Sottozero tires, for which Pirelli’s engineers have developed new materials and protection systems to guarantee vivid and durable colors.
But the real head-turner was the “intelligent and interactive” tire monitoring system, the Pirelli Connesso.
The tiremaker described Connesso as “a digital platform using a sensor integrated within Pirelli’s high-end tires to expand on the information already available from each car’s onboard computer.” It’s basically a sensor embedded in the tire, connected to the Pirelli Cloud and to a smartphone app, which provides an interface that allows the driver to constantly receive data about the status, use and maintenance of each tire.
Connesso talks to your tires, the cloud, and the driver
It has been conceived as a technical tire accessory and is intended to provide “a more informed and pleasurable driving experience” — optimizing performance and reducing fuel consumption with more efficient use of tires.
The sensor weighs only a few grams and Pirelli says it has no effect on the physical performance of the tire. It measures tire pressure and temperature, even when the car is at rest, plus static vertical load, tire wear, number of miles covered for each tire, and (in the future) will estimate the remaining tire life. It can act as a remote pressure gauge when tires are being inflated and alerts the driver when the pressure of one or more tires drops too low, or when the wear limit is approaching. When that happens the app identifies the closest tire dealership and can directly book an appointment to rectify the problem or pre-order worn tires.
Right now, Pirelli is focused on the aftermarket sector but there will also be an original equipment solution.