Michelin in its role as the tire supplier for the Formula E series has used an embedded sensor to add connectivity to the third-generation Pilot Sport racing tires it has supplied for the new ABB FIA Formula E races. This makes the tires the most advanced tires to be used for the all-electric series. The 2019-20 championship series comprises 14 races. Michelin says that Michelin Track Connect for Formula E is the first connected solution that has been adopted by an FIA-sanctioned race series. The sensor makes it possible to monitor tire pressures automatically and reliably, irrespective of the temperature.
Jérôme Mondain, Michelin’s manager of Formula E activities said that the sensor is placed in a container, which is glued inside the tire. Before the qualifying practice and before the start of the race, the Michelin team walks in front of each car with a reader that is enclosed in a kind of suitcase to collect the tire pressures. This data is encrypted and only Michelin can read it. Once the data is collected, the file is sent to the FIA.
The entire process ensures that the information remains confidential and facilitates strict adherence to rules regarding minimum tire pressures, making monitoring a lot easier for FIA. The use of the sensor helps save time and helps streamline the running of race days. It is a lot easier and smoother than using a standard pressure gauge.
Michelin had already developed a Michelin Track Connect system for track days but the requirements for Formula E were different. Hence, the Michelin team worked on the development of a different technology using its own sensors, software and hardware. Michelin tested the use of the embedded sensor during the first race in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia and it proved to be a great success.
The French tire manufacturer uses its tire supply agreement for Formula E as an opportunity to test out its new technologies and to help it foster innovation related to sustainable mobility-related objectives in the areas of safety, sustainable materials, expanded electric mobility and accelerated connected mobility. The company developed Track Connect as it offers scope for further developments, like the possibility of refining calculations related to wear prediction and grip level, and this would have applications in road tires.
The sixth season of Formula E is currently running from November 2019 to July 2020, with a schedule of 14 races which will be held at 12 venues. For the first time, Formula E grids now comprise 12 teams and 24 drivers.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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