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October 29, 2019 4:30 PM, EDT

Continental Shows Off Intelligent Tires

Tom FanningTom Fanning by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

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ATLANTA — German tire manufacturer Continental AG unveiled its intelligent steer tires for trucks at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show on Oct. 29.

Tom Fanning, Continental vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas, told a news conference at NACV that the intelligent tires can be monitored for deflation and other signs of trouble. And the tires can come with the sensory equipment, or the sensors can be added later, he told reporters.

“It’s not a complicated process to install the sensor,” said Fanning. “It’s like a patch.”

Fanning said the company offers a range of intelligent-capable steer tires, customized to meet the needs of fleets in differing sectors. Intelligent tires are part of Continental’s digital tire-monitoring solutions, which identify punctures and creeping air loss, helping avoid breakdowns, Continental officials said in an accompanying news release.

The company said the Conti EcoPlus HS3 is Continental’s most fuel-efficient steer tire, delivering fuel economy and on-road mileage for longhaul applications. Continental officials said its tires delivered a fuel economy of 7.35 mpg, which represented a 2.1% fuel savings over a major competitor.

Fanning said the company also offers the Conti HSC 3, a heavy-truck, steer or all-position construction tire, which was launched in October 2019. As an on- or off-road tire, its performance is focused on durability, with good MPG, the company said. Continental said the tire tops its predecessor, the Continental HSC1, with an estimated 11% mileage improvement.

The Conti HSC 3 also features stone ejectors in the tread pattern for self-cleaning, and thick sidewall reinforcement, the company said.

Continental officials said the tire-monitoring options include the ContiPressureCheck on-vehicle tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and the ContiConnect Yard digital tire-monitoring system with web portal.

The company also showed off its ContiPressureCheck Solo, a trailer TPMS, as its newest tire-monitoring option. Continental officials said the system is easy to use, and notifies the driver of tire-pressure issues in real time, while keeping the trailer system separate from the tractor. The trailer system will help fleets comply with future greenhouse gas regulations.

“This new solution keeps fleets and trailer manufacturers ahead of pending legislation, and demonstrates our commitment as a partner to the commercial vehicle industry,” said Paul Williams, Continental’s executive vice president of commercial vehicle tires in the Americas, in a written statement. “With this addition to our digital tire monitoring portfolio, we now offer solutions for longhaul fleets and owner-operators, for fleets who return to the yard daily, and for trailers.”

Continental has been preparing to supply more U.S. commercial trucks in the next decade. The Hanover, Germany-based tire manufacturer celebrated the grand opening of its first American plant dedicated to truck tires, a facility in Clinton, Miss., on Oct. 17.

The Continental tire division has 24 production and development locations worldwide. The division posted sales of 11.4 billion euros ($12.64 billion) in 2018, according to Continental officials.

Founded in 1871, Continental makes supplies for commercial vehicles, industrial machines, traffic managers and transportation companies. In 2018, Continental generated sales of 44.4 billion euros ($49.33 billion) and employs more than 244,000 people in 60 countries and markets, according to a Continental news release.

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