Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

ITARI — Result In Brief

Project ID: 506437
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Sweden

Where the rubber meets the road

The EU is committed to decreasing energy consumption and pollution due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and noise while enhancing road safety and decreasing traffic fatalities. EU-funded researchers developed a novel tyre-surface simulation tool that has the potential to successfully address all of these issues simultaneously.
Where the rubber meets the road
Civilian and commercial traffic on European roads is on the rise, requiring novel interventions to curb fuel consumption and emissions while enhancing performance. The ‘Integrated tyre and road interaction’ (ITARI) project was developed to enable virtual design of new road surfaces taking into careful account tyre-surface interactions for enhanced overall performance and safety.

The researchers focused on the three road surface properties of texture, porosity and flexibility – the main factors governing tyre-road noise, grip and resistance to rolling. Current models used by the vehicle industry estimate the effect of rolling resistance on fuel consumption but do not take into account road surface design. Other models used by the tyre industry focus on tyre deformation and energy loss during rolling but again without consideration of road surface. Thus, one of ITARI’s main goals was to develop a model incorporating the influence of road surface properties on rolling resistance.

The researchers produced a comprehensive database of carefully controlled experimental data regarding road surface parameters and noise level spectra for 840 different tyre-pavement combinations. They then created a virtual-reality simulation tool incorporating a novel friction model of grip on pavement surface to evaluate prototyped road surfaces performance.

The simulations demonstrated that there are many textures and road surface constructions that have not yet been implemented and that have the potential to be quite effective at reducing noise. Further modelling and simulation research will help determine optimised surface properties for enhanced grip and resistance to rolling, thus ensuring safe civilian and commercial transportation on Europe’s highways.

The ITARI project contributed a very important simulation tool for tyre-surface interactions that has the potential to be used by civil engineers and tyre and vehicle manufacturers alike to enhance safety performance while decreasing fuel consumption, GHG emissions and noise pollution. The obvious financial benefits and enhancements in quality of life should be great motivators to industry, government and EU consumers.

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