Auto Manifesto

February 26, 2009

Measuring Tire Temperature In Real Time

Here's an interesting development. Beru has come out with a tire temperature measurement system that measures the actual carcass temperature of the inside of the tire. In the long run, the idea of course is that this technology would benefit passenger vehicle and tire development.

A couple of Formula One teams have tested it and are interested in using it to negate the further testing restrictions imposed on the teams this year, which leads to the time honored question. Does reducing track testing really do anything to reduce expenditures if the budgets aren't capped and the teams can still spend?

Beru isn't going to give these things away for free, and the additional data is going to require the teams to use more manpower to make sense of it all. This is not a criticism of the technology but simply to point out that the net effect of these rule changes is probably to divert budgets to other areas, not reduce them.

The other point of note is that the article implies the 2009 cars seem to have more front grip (same tire sizes). This is probably in large part due to the large front wings and the drastically smaller rear, coupled with more contact area on the now slick tires, having dispensed with the circumferentially grooved tires of the past eleven seasons. Expect cars with more oversteer (i.e. tailhappy) this coming season.

Here's the article: http://www.sae.org/mags/AEI/5585

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