It's not just all-new and concept cars on display at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Continental has revealed a two new tire concepts, one which relays more information to the driver, and the other, adapts to road conditions by adjusting pressure and rim width. Continental calls these concept tires the ContiSense and ContiAdapt.
ContiSense uses sensors to measure tread depth, temperature and alerts drivers to tire damage and relays this information via electrically conductive rubber. The concept tire is said to continuously send information to the driver which then warns them if the measured values are above or below predefined limits. At the same time, ContiSense can immediately tell the driver if road debris penetrates the tire. Continental also plans to add a feature that can 'read' road surfaces and temperature. The data can be transmitted to the vehicle electronics or via a smartphone's Bluetooth system.
ContiAdapt on the other hand combines micro-compressors integrated into the wheel to adjust the tire pressure with a variable-width rim. With that said, it allows the tire to change its contact patch under varying road conditions to ensure more traction. Continental adds there are four different combinations to allow adaptation on wet, uneven, slippery and dry roads. It can be set with high pressures make for low rolling resistance and energy-efficient driving on smooth, dry roads. At the same time, it can shift to a larger contact patch with lower tyre pressure delivers ideal grip on slippery roads.
Continental has yet to confirm if these concept tires will make it into production. The tire manufacturer did say that some of the technologies seen here are likely to trickle down to their lineup.