By Patrick Raleigh, ERJ On-line news editor
Brussels-Bridgestone Europe (BSEU) has gained a contract to supply tyres for DaimlerChrysler's range of medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the tyre maker announced 12 May.
The agreement, which takes effect from 1 Jan 2005, follows a two-year collaboration between the two companies in development of Bridgestone's ultra-low aspect Greatec Mega Drive tyre and its associated Aircept safety system. Aircept, which includes a tyre pressure monitoring system, is a current option on Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks.
Bridgestone launched its Greatec single-drive tyres in 2000 to replace dual drive tyres on trucks and buses with single tyres. The technology improves fuel economy because the tyre and rim weighs less than two conventional tyres and rims, according to Bridgestone.
Bridgestone's Aircept system, which fits around the rim inside a Greatec tyre, starts to expand as soon as the tyre pressure drops below a specified level. If a total loss of pressure occurs, Aircept expands to fill the entire interior of the tire, and supports the load on the tyre.