HANNOVER - German tire maker Continental AG has won a major contract to supply its Intelligent Tire System (ITS) for a global car platform.
Production will begin in 2002 for a 2003 production model, said Chairman Stephan Kessel. But he would not name the customer because of a confidentiality agreement.
The patented 'smart tire' was developed by the company's Continental Teves brake and chassis unit, acquired from ITT Automotive in 1998.
The contract is a breakthrough for Continental. The company's ITS system is the first to use tire-based sensors to control a car's brake and traction systems.
ITS measures the deformation of the side wall of a tire, allowing closer monitoring of the forces between tire and road. This results in a shorter stopping distance and better maneuverability.
Continental's ITS system has been widely shown and tested, for example at last September's Frankfurt auto show. But until now Continental had not won any customers.
'It is very good news for our dream of integrating tires and chassis,' said Kessel.
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