Sumitomo’s concept tech harnesses friction from tyres

A new tyre concept from Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries (Sumitomo) aims to leverage static electricity/friction to power a vehicle from within.

Sumitomo’s system consists of a regular car tyre and a harvesting device which houses rubber layers and charged films. The tyre can generate a form of static electricity known as “frictional charging” as it goes over the ground. Once converted into functional electricity, it can be channeled into the vehicle’s onboard accessories, such as the radio.The idea was realised together with researchers from Kansai University in answer to developmental changes sweeping the automotive industry.

The tyre manufacturer’s latest tyre technology introduces a new automotive solution that takes advantage of a wide range of data obtained using various digital tools, through its “Smart Tyre Concept” – future applications are hoped to include sensors used in TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and other automotive devices.

Moreover, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), has also selected the research for a program that will ultimately produce new, innovative core technologies.