The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is extending its worldwide innovation network to include Mcity, the University of Michigan-led public-private partnership to advance connected and automated vehicles and technologies.
Goodyear will conduct testing at the Mcity test facility with electric and autonomous vehicles, further developing its intelligent tires and the application of sensors, and extending its role in managing the connection of tires to the road, to vehicles and, ultimately, to consumers.
“To generate mobility solutions involving tires – and even beyond tires – we are actively working with key players to shape the future for autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing fleets, and the activity at Mcity will help get us there even faster,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s chief technology officer.
The Mcity test facility is a purpose-built proving ground for testing connected and autonomous vehicles and technologies in simulated urban and suburban driving environments. Goodyear is the only tire company participating in research at the test facility. It joins nearly 60 other companies working with Mcity, including automotive manufacturers and suppliers, chip and hardware makers, insurance providers, and companies engaged in such technologies as advanced modeling, big data acquisition and intelligent transportation systems.
“We’re pleased to welcome Goodyear to our growing team of forward-thinking partners, especially considering the company’s reputation as a longtime industry leader,” said Huei Peng, director of Mcity and the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering at U-M. “Even as we test and plan for future forms of mobility, we acknowledge the critical role of tires in evolving forms of transportation.”
For Goodyear, Mcity represents an extension of the company’s global innovation network that includes innovation centers, development centers and tire proving grounds around the world. The network also includes open innovation partnerships with numerous customers, suppliers, governments and universities.
“Just as our presence in Silicon Valley has accelerated Goodyear’s fast-advancing work in future mobility, the collaboration with other stakeholders at Mcity will offer potential benefits to deliver solutions in tire electronics and information systems, enhancing overall vehicle performance, safety and the consumer experience,” said Helsel.
The innovative facility, with about 16 acres of roads and traffic infrastructure, is recognized as one of the leading connected and automated test facilities in the world. It combines early-stage research, testing in the state-of-the-art, real-world environment of the Mcity test facility and on-road vehicle deployments to further prove new technologies.