INITIATIVE: Pirelli Project

Pirelli Project

Through CITRIS, the multinational tire manufacturer, Pirelli, supported students to generate a discovery report on emerging trends in the automotive vehicle industry that could potentially disrupt the tire environment. This project is looking to create insights on what the future landscape of vehicles will look like, and ascertain the impacts on tire manufacturers from both a technical and commercial standpoint. The project is led by the Associate Director of CITRIS @ UC Merced, Stefano Foresti, the commercial analysis is being developed by Sophie Vo ( Management and Business Economics, B.S. c/o 2018), while the technical analysis has been developed by Johnathan Deas (Mechanical Engineering, B.S. c/o 2017), Marek Abarca (Mechanical Engineering, B.S. c/o 2016), Michiro Robinson (Mechanical Engineering, B.S. c/o 2018), and Deo Halili.
These students are deep diving into the innovations that are driving technologies such as data sensing, deep learning, IOT, new materials, as well as autonomous, connected, electric cars and trucks, to get a better understanding of what the relative impacts of these technologies will be on tire manufacturers.  The team has output a report outlining the deep dive topics at a high level, a report on the future state of the trucking industry, and documents with details on topics of particular interest.
The team has built its research by compiling information from journal reports, news articles, patent searches, press releases, and interviews conducted with stakeholders in the industry. Having developed a strong interest in the topic from working on this project, some team members even became involved in the organization of the VLAB event on flying cars “The Future of Transportation: Freeway or Flyways?”, which took place in Palo Alto in November 2016.
For the CITRIS students, it has been a highly engaging learning experience thanks to the enthusiasm of experts regarding what the future of the automotive industry will look like. Pirelli has been highly receptive of the analysis that the CITRIS team have conducted thus far, and the team looks forward to elaborating on the potential opportunities that it has identified for Pirelli and building out its recommendations."