Canadian Manufacturing

Temperature-sensitive tire concept warns when to switch to winters

Canadian Tire-commissioned tire that warns drivers to switch to winter rubber when temperature drops

TORONTO—Canadian Tire Corp. has teamed up with a British research firm to develop a temperature-sensitive all-season tire that changes colour when temperatures drop.

The whitewall tire uses a colour-changing rubber in its white sidewall that changes to a vivid blue when temperatures drop below 7°C—the recommended temperature to change over to winter-rated tires.

Developed in collaboration with ARTIS, the concept tire was inspired by other cold-activated colour-change products available on the market.

According to Canadian Tire, the idea of a visual aid to help warn drivers of winter’s potential wrath was the push to develop the tire.

Creating a visual to help promote safe driving in winter, which isn’t just about snow, was the push behind the creation of the concept tire.

“With over 90 years of experience in Canadian winters, we understand the unique challenges that drivers face on winter roads across the country,” Canadian Tire’s Melissa Arbour said in a statement.

“As with innovations like this concept tire, we continually search for the most advanced winter driving products to provide Canadian drivers with peace of mind and help to make sure families reach their destinations safely.”

The tire uses a similar thermo-chromic technology in order to change colours.

Commissioned for the project by Canadian Tire, ARTIS specializes in the testing, analysis, development and recycling of rubber materials.

“Our team at ARTIS took a particular interest in this project as it presented an idea we believe no one had considered before Canadian Tire,” said Dr. Joe Hallett, commercial manager with ARTIS.

“Canadian Tire is one of few leaders in delivering the message of winter driving safety. Through an extensive research & development process, we have created a concept that could help to change our thinking.”

No timeline of potential commercialization was provided.

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