Sumitomo’s intelligent new sensor detects loose wheel nuts

By CARSIFU | 1 April 2024

FRANKFURT: Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), the maker of Falken Tyres, continues to develop its "Sensing Core" intelligent tyre technology with a new wheel detachment function set to reach production vehicles for the first time this year.

Sensing Core is a flexible, sensor-less analysis and monitoring system with many different applications, including tyre pressure and wear, uneven loads and hazardous road conditions.

In recent years, accidents and injuries caused by detached wheels have become headline news in markets such as Japan, especially during the winter season, when car and truck drivers switch over to winter tyres and may not tighten the wheel nuts sufficiently.

Whilst many commercial vehicle operators use mechanical clips on the nuts as a visual check, they are not 100 percent reliable and rely on the diligence of the driver to check each of them before each journey.


The Japanese government has expressed its desire to end loose wheel accidents and SRI believes that Sensing Core’s wheel detachment function is one step towards reaching this goal.

In 2024, the function will be fitted to a car as standard equipment for the first time by an OEM customer. Discussions are ongoing with additional vehicle manufacturers.

Like previously developed "pillars" of Sensing Core, the wheel detachment function works independently of tyre make, model or size. It analyses wheel-speed signals and other information from the vehicle’s controller area network (CAN) to detect whether any wheel nuts are loose – by as little as one millimetre.

Sensing Core grew out of SRI’s original deflation warning system (DWS), an indirect tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

Fifteen OEMs from Europe, Japan, China and India fit its DWS to their cars. Now Sensing Core is the centrepiece of the peripheral services SRI is developing to meet the future challenges of CASE vehicles and mobility as a service.