Energy harvesting and strain sensing in smart tire for next generation autonomous vehicles


We demonstrate the feasibility of the strain energy harvesting from the automobile tires, powering wireless data transfer with enhanced frame rates, and self-powered strain sensing. For this, we used a flexible organic piezoelectric material for continuous power generation and monitoring of the variable strain experienced by a tire under different driving conditions. Power output of ∼580 µW at 16 Hz (∼112 km/h) from the energy-harvester and mounted on a section of a tire, is sufficient to power 78 LEDs. We further demonstrate that the stored energy was sufficient to power the wireless system that transmits tire deformation data with an enhanced frame rate to control system of a vehicle. Using sensors mounted on a tire of a mobile test rig, measurements were conducted on different terrains with varying normal loads and speeds to quantify the sensitivity and self-powered sensing operation. These results provide a foundation for self-powered real-time sensing and energy efficient data transfer in autonomous vehicles.

Applied Energy