Techies 2016: Innovation - Michelin CrossClimate tyre
23 August 2016
The Innovation category was one of the most hotly contested awards this year with entries coming from a wide variety of manufacturers and suppliers. It caused a heated debate amongst the judges - however, our standout winner in 2016 is Michelin, for its new CrossClimate tyre.
Launched at this year's Geneva motor show, the CrossClimate is the world's first summer tyre with winter capabilities.
Described as a "game-changer" by the firm, the benefits for fleets fitting CrossClimate tyres include increased duty of care and improved safety during the colder months, where summer tyres typically underperform.
This impressive new tyre scored an 'A' rating for wet grip while maintaining the dry braking standards already achieved from other tyres in the firm's line-up. Such performance is possible thanks to greater rigidity in the tread blocks, while a new rubber compound enhances the tyre's ability to match variation in road surfaces, thus optimising grip in wet conditions and improving longevity and dry road performance.
With a V-shaped tread and self-blocking small slits, the tyre is designed to optimise traction
in snow too.
Fitting a tyre that is suitable for both summer and winter helps fleets that currently swap into winter tyres to reduce fitment costs and downtime, plus there's the added benefit of not having to pay for a 'tyre hotel' for storage.
The CrossClimate is currently available in 23 dimensions, covering 76% of all car and car-derived van tyres, in sizes from 15 to 17 inches, with more sizes expected to be available before the end of the year.
Michelin claims that tyre wear for these new CrossClimate tyres are just as good as the firm's existing summer tyre range too, although in some cases the company is seeing improvements of around 5%.
After being evaluated by three independent European testing organisations, the CrossClimate tyre obtained Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake (3PMSF) approval, meaning it can be used in countries that require special winter equipment at defined times of year.
British Gas was one of the first fleets to start using the new tyre and currently has the CrossClimate fitted to 13,000 of its vehicles.
Highly commended - Volvo IntelliSafe
Volvo's IntelliSafe technology, which includes many ground-breaking safety systems, has been evolved further in 2016.
The firm's automatic emergency braking technology, which also now includes a Large Animal Detection system, can operate at all speeds in the S90, V90 and XC90, and up to 31mph in all other models in the line-up.
Volvo has also developed a run-off protection system and a road edge alert for 2016 that will steer the car if a road departure seems likely.
The brand's second-generation Pilot Assist system, which helps the driver to keep the car in the lane while maintaining a preselected time interval to the preceding vehicle, is also being rolled out across its range of cars and now operates at speeds of up to 80mph without needing a lead car.
Highly commended - RAC MyDrive Bluetooth fob
In response to customer concerns surrounding driver policy, RAC launched a Bluetooth-enabled personal ID fob this year that not only will allow for the straightforward identification of any employee using a pool vehicle, but also enables drivers to keep personal mileage private.