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Thursday, June 20, 2024
Home Features Features Fleet advice: Beating the heat

Fleet advice: Beating the heat

Bridgestone talks to T&FME about ensuring drivers stay safe in the summer heat

In the blistering heat of the UAE summer, a challenge lurks on the roads – one that not only puts the durability of truck tyres to test but also poses significant risks to both truckers and other commuters.

The ever-present debris of worn-out truck tyres scattered across highways is a distressing sight that serves as a sombre reminder of the perils that lie ahead. As the tyres succumb to the relentless heat, the potential dangers they impose on trucks and oncoming traffic cannot be overlooked.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports a staggering annual toll of approximately 1.3 million lives lost due to road traffic accidents worldwide. This alarming statistic is further compounded by the fact that between 20 to 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries as a result of road accidents. Such devastating numbers demand immediate action and a renewed focus on road safety measures.

In the UAE, another challenge arises with the scorching heat of summer, posing hazards to truck tyres and drivers. The roads often bear witness to the aftermath of truck tyre debris, a common sight that poses dangers not only to the trucks themselves but also to oncoming traffic. As truck drivers brave the extreme temperatures, they endure difficult working conditions in their tireless pursuit to deliver goods and commodities to their destinations.

Regular tyre maintenance emerges as a vital strategy in ensuring road safety and maximising uptime for fleet owners. Commercial vehicle wheels and components are critical for braking systems as well as bearing big loads by maintaining stability and control. Routine inspections improve safety while also increasing profitability, particularly with off-road tyres and rims/wheels, which require repair by operators before each shift.

The Bridgestone Group is making significant strides in developing sensing technologies and systems by combining tyres and sensors. These technologies go beyond monitoring road conditions; they also provide essential tyre information, such as wear levels. By leveraging such innovations, Bridgestone continues its mission to support safe and secure mobility for all.

As a global leader in advanced solutions and sustainable mobility, Bridgestone transcends the boundaries of tyre design and development. By addressing key customer challenges, the company pioneers the future of tyres. One of the most remarkable advancements is the concept of Airfree Tyres, reimagining tyres by eliminating the need for air. This breakthrough technology eradicates issues related to air pressure maintenance and reduces downtime caused by flat tyres, particularly crucial for commercial fleets. Bridgestone introduced one of the world’s first Airfree systems designed to run on class 8 vehicles.

Additionally, Bridgestone has set its sights on the rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) segment, recognising the automotive industry’s transition to electric mobility. Bridgestone’s EV fitments are engineered with industry-leading sustainable technologies that cater to the unique requirements of EVs.

Key innovations like TECHSYN help achieve better wear efficiency and reduced rolling resistance while minimising raw material consumption. B-Silent technology reduces tyre noise, ensuring sustainable and lightweight tyres. ENLITEN technology further enhances EV driving by reducing tyre rolling resistance and decreasing tyre weight, thus extending driving range while reducing environmental impact.

Addressing the issue of EV weight, Bridgestone collaborates with various car manufacturers to develop High Load (HL) tyres capable of supporting the increased weight of powerful electric and hybrid vehicles. Bridgestone’s commitment to electric mobility extends to providing Bridgestone OE tyres customised for EVs, demonstrating their dedication to the future of electric transportation.

To support the automotive industry’s sustainability ambitions, Bridgestone has partnered with global EV manufacturers like Mercedes EQA and EQB, BMW i3, Fiat 500 EV, Nissan LEAF, and Volkswagen’s all-electric ID.3 and ID.4, among others. Embracing the spirit of innovation, Bridgestone further collaborates with innovative startups like Lightyear, the world’s first long-range solar-powered electric car, and Fisker, for the launch of the all-electric Fisker Ocean. Such collaborations with disruptive newcomers and established industry leaders demonstrate Bridgestone’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for the mobility sector.

Tyres, being the only parts of a vehicle in contact with the road, play a critical role in ensuring safe and steady driving. Information on road conditions becomes even more valuable during poor visibility, such as at night. Bridgestone’s pioneering technology, ‘CAIS™ (Contact Area Information Sensing),’ uses sensors attached to tyres to classify road conditions in real-time, providing drivers with essential data to enhance road safety.
Bridgestone’s innovation journey never ceases, continually adding value to products and services through advanced mobility solutions.

MOBOX is a prime example, offering a personalised tyre and car maintenance subscription service that allows drivers to continue their journey with ease and peace of mind. Beyond merely being a tyre company, Bridgestone provides holistic mobility solutions, including smart sensing tyres that utilise AI-powered algorithms to transmit critical data, predicting and preventing maintenance issues. Alongside this, new service tools make it easier to interact with Bridgestone and their expansive service delivery network.

Bridgestone’s dedication to road safety is evident through its campaigns to raise awareness and promote safety in the transportation sector. Collaborating with various organisations, it conducts tyre safety campaigns and health check-ups for truck drivers to ensure their well-being while on the road. The numbers from its campaigns speak volumes about the importance of raising awareness for commercial tyre safety.

In joint efforts with the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) in Abu Dhabi, Al Masaood, and RoadSafetyUAE, Bridgestone rewarded and educated 150 truck drivers while checking 640 truck tyres. Such campaigns play a vital role in identifying issues like under-inflation, over-inflation, damages and missing valve dust caps, all of which have direct implications on road safety.

Truck drivers hold a pivotal role in society, diligently working long hours to deliver essential goods and commodities. The taxing nature of their job can lead to serious health implications. In light of this, Bridgestone MEA launched the successful ‘Eyes on the Road’ wellness campaign that encouraged 1,000 truck drivers to have a health check-up, placing check-up stations at truck stops along major highways in the UAE. During Ramadan 2022, the campaign continued, providing truck drivers with a wholesome experience during the holy month.

Road safety is a shared responsibility, and Bridgestone has collaborated with local partners in Qatar and Egypt, and the UAE, bringing the #CheckedbyBridgestone campaign to these regions.

These safety checks encompass tyre, battery, wiper, and safety tool inspections, emphasising the importance of tyre maintenance and road safety in mobility. In conclusion, emerging technologies and innovation play a pivotal role in enhancing road safety and ensuring sustainable mobility for the future. Bridgestone’s relentless pursuit of tyre technology advancements, sustainability initiatives, and road safety campaigns make them a true industry leader. With a focus on innovation, collaboration, and commitment to societal well-being, Bridgestone continues to drive progress in the mobility sector, making our roads safer and our future more sustainable.

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