European investigators have identified the tyre as the most important vehicle component when evaluating efficient and safe transportation. The combination of relevant technologies has application in development of hi-tech ground vehicles exhibiting a high degree of autonomy and cognition as well as the development of eco-friendly cars. The 'Interface of intelligent control philosophy and mechatronics technology for tyre-surface interaction' (Intyre) project was thus designed to study tires and their interface with the surfaces on which they move. Specifically, researchers incorporated a variety of complementary methods, including intelligent control, soft computing, mechatronics, terramechanics and applied dynamics, in order to study the enhancement of performance and safety. The Intyre project resulted in production, testing and evaluation of a controller for intelligent vehicle safety control systems. In addition to widespread international recognition and numerous publications and presentations, the project's Fellow received the Intelligent Optimal Design Prize in Singapore in March 2010. Furthermore, the Ilmenau University of Technology is now creating an interdisciplinary joint degree programme in Ground Vehicle Mechatronic Systems together with partner universities from the EU and the United States. The Intyre project contributed to the development of safer and 'smarter' surface vehicle performance as well as to the development of a sustainable vehicle research community. The EU is thus positioned to make significant contributions to the next generation of vehicle safety systems and control technologies.