In 2016 the EU registered 25,699 road fatalities. Ten percent of the accidents were estimated to be caused by faulty or worn-out tires. This tire related problem is estimated to carry an annual cost of EUR 22 Billion on top of human suffering. At the same time as much as 28 percent of microplastics in the ocean comes from tires shedding synthetic rubber as they wear down. Before ending up in the ocean the rubber contributes to the melting of glaciers and soil pollution. Some microplastics get ingested and incorporated in the bodies and tissues of living organisms.
In the project, SINTEF, in collaboration with Roadguard, is developing a measurement system, to be installed on road, for collecting real time data of vehicle tires. The work is carried out in collaboration with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, and will contribute to safer and more environmentally friendly traffic. One of the main challenges is to design a compact system that can provide high optical quality data and at the same time can operate under harsh conditions (presence of dust, water, large temperature gradient, snow plowing etc.).