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RoboTire claims it can replace four tires on a car in less than 25 minutes
August 10, 2022
News of a pioneering new service at a tire outlet in Arizona suggests the idea isn’t as outlandish as it may first appear.
Discount Tire in Fountain Hills has become the first of the chain’s outlets to install an automated tire replacement system from Michigan-based RoboTire.
In Arizona, the system is claimed to be able to replace four tires on a car in less than 25 minutes. But as a RoboTire promotional video illustrates, in some applications, even 15-minute changes are a reality, which is around four times faster than humans would typically manage.
In operation, the system is capable of removing, lifting and installing tire and wheel assemblies, reducing the risk of injuries to technicians often caused by repetitive heavy lifting. And it all works via a combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, high-definition cameras and the company’s proprietary software.
Computer vision and machine learning precisely identify the lug nuts for fast removal. AI prevents the hardware from coming into contact with the vehicle. And advanced force-feedback sensors prevent lug nut cross threading and guarantee each wheel is safely replaced on the vehicle.
Each tire replacement is overseen by Discount Tire technicians, who also provide pressure monitoring and balancing services.
Fountain Hills is set to be the first of many Discount Tire locations to offer the service, with the installation of RoboTire planned at many more of its 1,100 stores across the United States.
“We are excited to be the first to market in our space with RoboTire’s technology,” said Tom Williams, chief experience officer at Discount Tire. “With our Discount Tire expert people operating RoboTire systems, we will make the workplace safer and the experience easier as we hope to continue to reduce customer wait times and take care of more and more customers.”
“RoboTire’s systems will drastically change how tire stores and service centers like Discount Tire approach changing tires, employee and vehicle safety, and customer satisfaction,” Victor Darolfi, RoboTire founder and chief executive officer, added,
RoboTire is now set to ramp up manufacturing at its Plymouth headquarters and will be scaling the delivery of systems throughout North America in the coming months.
Robotics and artificial intelligence are likely to play an ever more prominent role in vehicle servicing and maintenance as technology continues to advance.
In March, Volvo revealed how it was set to introduce automated, AI-based vehicle inspections at some of its U.S. dealers courtesy of tech from Israeli company UVeye. This included checks of tires, underbody components and vehicle exteriors.
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