Could water be used to keep car tires at the correct temperature?
Wet tires are usually bad news because they offer less grip, but what if careful application of water to your car’s rubber could actually improve performance? A new patent filed by Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler suggests that using sprayed water could help better control tire temperature.
The patent envisions a way of using water stored in a tank to cool tires that are too hot. Sensors would monitor tire temperature and, if those figures exceeded a certain threshold, the system could apply cooling water to the tires. The idea is to prevent rubber overheating in strenuous situations or on excessively hot days, which could cause tire failure. “Increased driving safety is achieved as the bursting of tires can be prevented by applying the fluid to a tire which is overheated,” promises Daimler’s patent application.
On the other hand, warm water could be sprayed on a tire to reduce ice and snow buildup, or to prevent under-inflation in cold weather. The patent says that the tire-sprayer water could be heated with the vehicle’s coolant so that “excess snow or ice deposited on the tire can be removed or warded off.”
According to the patent, the system uses sensors to check for rainfall that might already cool the car’s tires, and also collects rainfall or melting snow on the windshield and rear window to replenish the reservoir for the cooling system.
There’s no guarantee this invention will actually go into production, but it’s an interesting look at how automakers could continue to more precisely control every aspect of a car’s performance.