Japanese tire makers experiment with future driving systems

Major Japanese tire makers are responding to ongoing advances in the car industry by experimenting with technologies that may one day form part of self-driving and eco-friendly systems.

Bridgestone is working on an air-free tire. Flexible, high-performance resin spokes support the vehicle's weight and give a comfortable ride.

Demonstration tests using an electric vehicle started in February.

The project's leader says the tire can contribute to a circular society as its tread can be replaced numerous times.

A system under development by Sumitomo Rubber Industries aims to deliver real-time data to a driver on a car's tire condition.

The system determines tire pressure, wear and other conditions even while the vehicle is traveling.

Sumitomo Rubber plans to put the system into commercial use in fiscal 2024. It hopes that eventually the data will become accessible by remote when used for self-driving vehicles.

Officials say the technology could improve the safety of autonomous driving.