At the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show, Continental displayed its newest pioneering technology to make commercial fleets safer, more efficient and intelligent: the ContiConnect digital tire monitoring platform. The technology company, automotive supplier, and premium tire manufacturer has created an efficient solution for remote tire monitoring, allowing fleet managers to see tire pressure and temperature data for the entire fleet in a single web portal, every time trucks return to the fleet yard. With ContiConnect, fleets are able to replace manual and routine tire care with automatic and targeted care, fixing issues where they are known to exist and saving inspection and maintenance time.
ContiConnect helps fleets lower their costs and increase uptime in multiple ways: saving maintenance time, protecting tires from long-term damage, reducing tire-related breakdowns and tire wear, and improving fuel efficiency and safety, among others. Identifying and resolving tire issues immediately upon return to the fleet yard helps protect the tire from long-term damage, ensuring maximum removal miles and improved casing retreadability. Continental’s tire sensors can identify creeping air loss, one of the major causes of tire failure, before it would typically be noticed in a pre- or post-trip inspection, helping to reduce tire-related breakdowns on the road. In addition, verifying proper tire inflation guarantees the highest possible fuel efficiency to save fuel costs, reduces tire wear for long tire life, and helps to prevent tire blowouts for optimal safety. Tires are considered one of the top expenses for commercial fleets; with ContiConnect, fleets can ensure maximum profitability with the lowest overall driving cost.
Nikolai Setzer, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the global Tire division, says, “ContiConnect is the starting point for Continental to become a profound partner for tire-related data services. With this digital tire monitoring platform we take a huge step forward in our evolution from a premium tire manufacturer to a solutions provider. We enrich our long-term experience in the tire industry with data created by sensors, starting with our truck, bus and earthmoving tires.”
ContiConnect is a remote tire monitoring platform that does not depend on a telematics or over-the-road connection. Tire data is collected via sensors, which are mounted on the inner liner of the tire to prevent damage from kerbing, eliminate theft, and ensure the sensor can accurately detect the tire temperature and pressure without being influenced by heat from braking systems. As trucks enter the fleet yard, the yard reader station picks up data from the sensors and transmits it to the ContiConnect web portal via a cellular network.
In the web portal, the fleet manager can immediately access low pressure alerts, track data over time, and view reports and analytics for all tires equipped with sensors. The platform also features customizable text and email notifications, so the fleet manager, maintenance supervisor, or other personnel can receive immediate alerts when low tire pressure or high tire temperature is recorded. This allows fleets to act proactively to fix issues rather than spending valuable time performing manual pressure checks.
Tire sensors are retrofitted onto a fleet’s existing tires through a simple installation process. Select tire models are also available direct from the factory with sensors mounted on the liner during tire production, making it easier than ever for fleets to outfit their trucks for any of Continental’s digital tire monitoring systems.
Continental offers a range of digital tire monitoring systems to fit a fleet’s individual business needs. The ContiPressureCheck tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is simple to install and constantly displays real-time tire pressure and temperature to the driver via an in-cab display, along with alerts if issues are identified. This helps protect drivers from top tire-related safety concerns.
Fleet managers who are interested in seeing real-time tire data via a telematics solution can also benefit from ContiPressureCheck. The tire pressure monitoring system offers data integration with multiple telematics providers, including Zonar, majority owned by Continental, and independent third party PeopleNet. Integration allows tire data to be seen in both the providers’ in-cab displays and back-end portals.
Continental leverages more than 100 years of tire manufacturing expertise combined with the latest digital technology to create intelligent tire solutions that reduce fleets’ operating costs and enhance safety.
Several commercial fleets have already participated in a no-cost beta trial of the solution, with applications ranging from regional haul to construction to waste transport. Regional food service distributor Feeser’s relied on 85 drivers to inspect their 90 vehicles, resulting in one flat tire per week on average. Now, with ContiConnect, fleet manager Bob Herr can see tire data for all trucks as soon as they return to the yard. “Now I can bypass the driver and just watch the web portal as the trucks return,” says Herr.
Before trying ContiConnect, Herr was using a valve-mounted Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). He became frustrated as the sensors were frequently damaged when the tires scraped against a curb, and caused costly tire failures. The ContiConnect tire sensors are mounted inside the tire, preventing damage. ContiConnect detects low pressure in four to five Feeser’s tires per week on average, allowing service staff to address the issue right away and avoid the tires going flat overnight.
“This is a great solution for my regional application, and I would definitely recommend it to others,” says Herr. “I’m saving casings and time, and I no longer have to depend on my drivers to check tire pressure.” In the future, Herr plans to mount a screen in his workshop so mechanics can easily see which tires need maintenance when the trucks pull in.