Marubeni Corporation, the major Japanese integrated trading and investment business conglomerate, recently entered into a business alliance agreement with Tyrata, Inc., a U.S.-based developer of an autonomous tire tread wear measurement systems.
Under the terms of the agreement, Marubeni will introduce Tyrata’s automated tire tread wear measurement equipment and services to the Japanese market. The company is currently working on demonstration tests for the measurement equipment in Japan, with the intention of offering a subscription service within two years. The business alliance with Tyrata, which has its own proprietary techniques, is in keeping with Marubeni’s mission to develop new businesses.
Marubeni notes that a general service does not yet exist to detect tire wear, unlike services to check tire pressure etc. Maintenance automation is increasingly important, in anticipation of automated driving becoming mainstream and the Japanese company believes that demand for automated, real-time measurement of tire wear will further increase in the future.
Tyrata was established in 2017 as a technology spin-off from North Carolina’s Duke University. The company has developed a proprietary sensor and algorithm that directly measures tire wear in real time. In addition to conventional tire sales, Marubeni is also seeking out new business in this sector.
Tokyo-headquartered Marubeni will introduce this equipment to Japan and, through demonstration tests with logistics companies, verify the demand for automatic tire wear measurement, improvement of driver safety, and reduction of tire maintenance costs. The company says it will conclude an exclusive distributor contract with Tyrata when it starts expansion in Japan following verification. The two companies will utilize each other's knowledge to promote the use of automated tire wear measurement equipment.