I recently wrote about Tyre Pressure Management Systems and discussed the fact that I was running an aftermarket system which I found to get in the way during track days. In December, I swapped the system from my track car to my main road car – being an app based system with sensors mounted on the valve stems meant this was very easy to do!
I read an article in Evo Magazine a while back that Pirelli had solved that problem – they have put sensors into a version of their P Zero’s. As I use these tyres on the car, and was looking at the P Zero Trofeo for track use, I am now considering this new tyre with the Connesso system.
The Connesso system does exactly what my aftermarket system does – and a little more. However, it does it without the bulky sensors that fitted to the valves. That alone is a big bonus, because it was the removal of these sensors to adjust the pressures when at the track that I was frustrated with. Pirelli simply solved the problem by embedding the sensor into the tyre’s carcass.
The sensors are connected via Bluetooth to an app on a phone that will give a graphical view of the tyre’s information such as pressure, temperature, vertical load and even tyre wear. This last one provides the app with input to estimate the remaining life of the tyre.
Having the sensor in the tyre means that you can see the pressure whilst you adjust it so it means you can manage the adjustment factoring in the temperature of the tyre. In addition, the app can also provide warnings for pressure and temperature changes that would impact the grip and life of the tyre. Unlike many other systems, the Connesso system will operate when the car is at a standstill – many need the wheels to rotate before the sensors start to work.
I would be interested in getting a set – once I have worn out my current P Zeros that were fitted late last year. My main test would be with the Bluetooth connection because the sensors I have now often knock out the Bluetooth connection between the car and the phone, leaving the TPMS as the only connection. Since swapping the system to my road car, this has become frustrating as although I have “Do Not Disturb” on when driving for SMS and notifications, I still want to receive calls. With no Bluetooth connection, I cannot use the car’s system and therefore have to ignore the calls until I stop.
With regards to the Connesso system, apparently Pirelli have been providing tyres with the system fitted to manufacturers for new vehicle setup as it allows the designers and engineers to view how the tyre was performing and then this data can be used to improve the tyre for a specific purpose.
The first tyres to use the system commercially are the P Zero and Winter Sottozero ranges with sizes 19” and above – clearly for the prestige or premium cars first.
I would expect as the system is embedded in more tyres in the Pirelli range, the company will have worked with manufacturers to either embed the data into the main vehicle management system or through Apple’s CarPlay or Android Auto.
I see technology like this as being more useful than many new systems because as an enthusiast, it would help me look after my tyres which in turn means that I can be sure that I have enough grip when I need it.