Spotlight Pirelli: Driving the Future of Intelligent Tires

February 26, 2021
By Knowledge Leaders Team in Knowledge Leaders

Italy’s Pirelli is the only tire producer that sells exclusively to consumers. Today with more than 3,000 different models in stores, one area of breakthrough innovation is what Pirelli calls connected tires. The firm’s “cyber” technology strategy involves building sensors into the tire to collect safety and performance information. In fact, Pirelli was the first tire maker to transfer road surface data detected by intelligent tires via 5G networks.

R&D always has been at the heart of Pirelli’s strategy with emphasis on innovating the entire lifecycle, from raw materials and distribution to sustainable end-of-life. This has led to the firm’s ability to create large stores of intellectual capital; it holds active patents in more than 780 product families. Key to accomplishing this is Pirelli’s “Open Innovation” model, a series of collaborations with partners including suppliers, universities, and manufacturers for the purpose of pre-empting technological innovations and consumer needs in the tire industry.

Pirelli’s new materials group is active in developing new polymers for improving characteristics like rolling resistance, low temperature performance, mileage and road grip, plus new substances like high-dispersion silica, vegetable biomaterials, nano-fillers, and silica surfactants for low environmental impact and high performance. Pirelli is the leader in the prestige car segment with a market share over 50%. In 2019 the firm was recognized by the Ford Motor Company for its commitment to sustainability and excellence. Headquartered in Milan, Pirelli was founded in 1872, by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, who upon graduating from college, hoped to give back to his country and its people by building a new industry based on the availability of natural rubber. Today the firm employs more than 31,000 people worldwide.

As of 12/31/20, Pirelli was not held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.

Pirelli P Zero intelligent tire, credit: Pirelli

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