The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Even for a product that has been around for so long as a tyre there is still room for continuous improvement. A lot of money is poured into developing tyres further and testing them in all different types of conditions. This requires winter and summer testing facilities around the globe.
The popular big SUVs and hybrid and electrical cars also need special tyres that have some different properties versus normal passenger cars. This requires the tyre companies to create new improved range of tyres. SUVs, electrical and hybrid vehicles also tend to be heavier than normal passenger cars, so this needs to be taken into account. Electrical cars have a higher torque that can cause higher wear, so the tyres need to be wear resistant.
You also need to check and make sure that they work and behave well in all different weather conditions and on different surfaces. All the different tyres need to be thoroughly tested. Summer tires, winter tyres, all-weather tires as well as the speciality tyres such as SUV tyres. A tyre that is good in one set of conditions, might be bad in another condition, so it is all about continuous testing to ensure that you can prove the performance based on the different circumstances.
A lot of innovations has been made on improving the aquaplaning preventing properties of tyres, making sure that water is more effectively being removed from the tyre surface to the sides. There have also been some innovations that impact the speed by which the water can be removed by ensuring a very smooth groove surface. All these aim to improve safety so that we all benefit from fewer accidents on our roads. Reducing the risk of aquaplaning lowers the accident rates during summer when you can have very heavy rain.
Research and development with relentless testing in all different conditions are not cheap and a big part of the big tyre manufacturers budgets are spent on trying to continuously develop better and safer tyres. This is why when you purchase tyres that might seem a bit more expensive than some cheaper models; you at least know that these tyres have been thoroughly tested to achieve the results. When you purchase cheaper tyres, they might just be knock-offs of quality tyres, so they might not have been tested in all different conditions. Cheaper tyres also tend to have a higher rolling resistance, which quickly reduces any savings due to higher fuel costs and higher wear.
We all benefit from this development so that we can keep our roads safer and work towards the goal of having zero casualties in the traffic one day.