Pirelli Builds Incredible Tire Sensor, Gets 2 Patents, Giving McLaren Confidence To Sign On

In April of 2020, a patent asset was published for Pirelli for a Tyre Sensor Device with Flexible Printed Circuit Board. This allows the sensor to comfortably fit within the tire. In November of 2020, a patent application was published for Pirelli to signal that the car is hydroplaning.

As we’ve been saying for years, patent investment always leads market activity. So we weren’t surprised that in February of 2021, McLaren Group unveiled its newest member to the supercar sphere, the McLaren Artura, equipped with tires manufactured with sensors-as standard provided by none other than Pirelli. This is the first time an intelligent tire will be the standard for a car, meaning that the vehicle’s tire will be equipped with this technology for both summer and winter tires.

Pirelli & C. S.p.A manufactures some of the best racing and performance tires in the industry. So, it came as no surprise when McLaren selected its Cyber Tire system for the new hybrid beast. These tires are meant to communicate directly to the car itself. The Cyber Tires are made up of a sensor that gathers visual data for safe driving and directly transmits it to the software that has been integrated into the car’s computer system. The most exciting part? The tire’s sensors are built directly in the tire, versus connection from the wheel rim, to accurately inform the car and driver of the tire’s “passport.” This includes the type of tire (winter or summer), prescribed pressure, load index and speed rating, and current running information such as temperature and pressure, all to ensure driver safety. The car will also alert the driver when they have reached the maximum speed for the type of tire being used. These sensors allow the car to identify and predict potentially hazardous situations that include aquaplaning and loss of grip, and correctly respond instead of overcorrecting.  

These are what presumably enticed McLaren to choose Pirelli; along with the fact that Pirelli has been designing performance and race tires since 1872. 

Pirelli is not a huge player in this sector, but we should expect to see more from it following these developments. One can anticipate this relationship will represent the future of tires and driver safety. Companies like Goodyear, Nokian Renkaat, and Michelin are just a few of Pirelli’s competitors and could profit from these advancements, especially in the consumer market. Nokian has four patent applications and three patent assets in the tread sector and nothing else. This could be a great opportunity for them to diversify their portfolio and ultimately profit. As more autonomous and electric vehicles are brought to the market, the use of intelligent tires will become commonplace.

To see what the future of autonomous tire sensors holds, check out the Autonomous Tire Sensors Patent Forecast®!