McLaren Artura to get Pirelli’s Cyber Tyres as standard

While driving a motorcar, the sole component that connects the vehicle to the tarmac are the tyres. And yet, the car’s computers hardly reciprocate any information about its real-time condition to the driver except for its current air pressure. Tyre conglomerate Pirelli seems to have addressed the same issue with its Cyber Tyres. And sports car manufacturer McLaren’s latest hybrid offering – the Artura, becomes the first to get these as standard. 


Said to be a world-first, Pirelli’s latest offering equips each of its tyres with sensors embedded inside to let the rubber patches communicate about its well-being to the car’s onboard computers. And not just the current condition, but a plethora of information about the tyre itself, such as the type of tyre, prescribed pressure, load index and speed rating – collectively called the Tyre’s Passport can be relayed to the driver via the car’s computers. 


Furthermore, Pirelli has also devised the software required to process the sensor readings from the tyres. This gets integrated into the car’s electronics, and certain bits of information can be viewed on the instrument cluster or the central display on the dashboard. And as these sensors are embedded inside the wheels rather than the valve that only comes in contact with the wheel rims, the sensory readings are more accurate. 


Apart from displaying the tyre’s credentials, these sensors can also alert drivers to check the tyre pressures. Plus, during seasonal changes, these Cyber tyres can alert drivers to change the type of tyres – from summer to winter – as the speed rating varies significantly between them, ensuring safety. Pirelli claims car manufacturers define these specific functionalities of Cyber Tyres while adopting them for its specific models. 


Even on the track, these tyres are capable of suggesting vital information that aid performance. Similar to the job of race engineers in F1 races, the Cyber Tyres can alert the driver when the rubber is at its optimal temperature for the driver to extract maximum performance within that window. Simultaneously, the tyres can also notify the drivers to cool their tyres down to ensure longevity. 


The rubber patches used in the McLaren Artura are P Zero units, 19-inches for the front and 20-inches at the rear. Said to be developed along with McLaren engineers, specifically for the Artura, these feature an asymmetric tread pattern, enabling superior braking performance even during wet conditions. Other tyre options include track-based P Zero Corsa tyres and winter-specific P Zero Winter tyres – all retaining the Cyber Tyre technology within them.


Even the future looks bright for these sensor-equipped tyres with multi-fold applications. Pirelli claims these will be capable of predicting potentially hazardous situations such as loss of grip or aquaplaning, thereby prompting the car’s electronic-nanny to intervene and slow the vehicle down. In 2019, Pirelli already became the first tyre company to share road-surface related information via the 5G network. And the tyre firm believes such connected technology will only progress further with the times as tyres become capable of sending these bits of information to other driverless cars on the road.


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