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Michelin planning to make all car tires RFID-enabled by 2023

Michelin Group plans to incorporate Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips in all its car tires by 2023, saying it believes RFID technology is a cost-effective way of tracking tires "from cradle to grave" as well as enhance predictive maintenance.

The move, disclosed by Michelin Dec. 11 in Frankfurt, builds on the company's work in the commercial tire sector, where it already equips 90% of its truck and bus tires with RFID chips and plans to reach 100% by 2023.

In addition, Michelin said it is working with vehicle makers to develop algorithms that could pave the way for new advances as cars become more connected."Since RFID technology ensures this exact tire identification, it is conceivable in the future that drivers will see a tire status display next to their fuel gauge," Michael Ewert, vice president global sales for original equipment at Michelin, said.Michelin said it expects the technology to enhance driver safety by allowing advanced driver assistance systems such as electronic stability to fine-tune responses according to specific tire characteristics.

At the end of a tire's life, Michelin noted, the technology could be used to improve recycling rates, allow proof of recycling and increase the efficiency of energy recovery programs.

Dealerships also will benefit from the know-how as exact tire identification and data will be accessible easily, reducing fitting errors and helping with stock control, the company said.

Michelin said it is working with car manufacturers to develop algorithms that could pave the way for new advances as cars become more connected.

According to Mr. Ewart, the technology makes many new business models possible and can also increase safety when driving.

"We are convinced it represents a significant step forward in the tire industry," he added.

As part of the move, Michelin is ramping up capacity for encasing RFID chips in rubber at its plant in Homburg, Germany, where it expects output of up to 15 million chips a year. The chips then are installed in new tires onsite or shipped to other factories in Europe, China, Thailand and Brazil, Michelin said.

Tire Business