Ford’s push for new tyres

Ford headquarters in DearbornUS firm Ford Motor has set up a cross-functional team with a mission to develop new tyres that improve safety, boost fuel economy and enhance vehicle handling.

Located at Ford’s Research and Innovation Centre in Dearborn, the team will work closely with Ford’s Chassis Engineering and Vehicle Engineering teams as well as tyre companies to test new compounds, tread designs and other innovations.

“Traditionally, the challenge of improving tyre treads is to expand all facets of the “magic triangle” – grip, wear and rolling resistance. We want to improve all attributes without compromising others,” said Dan Haakenson, Technical Expert, Vehicle Dynamics.

“Our goal is to anticipate, innovate and incorporate technologies to make Ford a leader in fuel economy and to help deliver superior low-rolling-resistance tyres to customers faster than anyone else.” “While Ford doesn’t manufacture tyres, we do want to become smart buyers for our customers,” said David Rohweder, Global Chief Engineer for Tire and Wheel Engineering.

The company is developing its own in-house expertise on tyre materials and compounds, working with chemical and rubber suppliers as well as tyre manufacturers to pull new technologies and solutions through the industry. The company’s focus is on the materials aspect of tyre construction. While the actual recipes of these complex systems are often proprietary, the Ford research team seeks new technical advances for tyres in the future. (PRA)