10:39 AM

Investing in the Innovators

To be an innovator is to create new ideas, fresh concepts, and improve or replace old ones. It's a vital process that shapes the world around us. Even the smallest ripples of innovation and disruption in an industry can lead to enormous advances in technology, manufacturing, and the future of our planet.

These ripples can grow into waves and cause the kind of disruption that changes the course of history. Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, describes innovation: “Innovation must be disruptive. And by disruptive, I mean disruptive. You've got to fracture and break the rules and disrupt."

Innovation is about introducing something new, creating value and growth; disruption comes from taking that new thing and running with it as far as possible, creating major change. Not only do they allow businesses to differentiate themselves and flourish, but contribute to the advancement of the industry as a whole.

Innovation is also what allows us to anticipate the needs of consumers of the future. For Goodyear, this means contributing to the evolution of the automotive industry. Far more than a tire business, it's investing in — and partnering with — the innovators to help them change the industry.

Powerful partnerships

The future of mobility is a major focus for Goodyear; all types of vehicles are set to become more accessible to more people and have a wider variety of functions than ever before. Just this year, Goodyear partnered with Dutch research organisation TNO to connect its intelligent tires with TNO's ABS system, to reduce stopping distance loss by up to 30%. The aim of this cooperation is to maximize safety for the drivers of the future.

Goodyear also announced a highly exciting collaboration with electric car rental company UFODRIVE. This will see UFODRIVE's eMobility SaaS platform combined with Goodyear's intelligent tire monitoring system to improve electric vehicle fleet performance. As part of this collaboration, they'll conduct studies aimed at maximizing energy usage, saving on tire replacement costs, and minimizing the carbon impact of fleets.

Then there's Voyomotive, a connected car technology company with which Goodyear has joined forces to pilot tire monitoring solutions to improve vehicle efficiency. The aim is to give customers the ability to proactively correct anomalies and get their tire inflation right long before the car can alert them, improving efficiency.

Investing in a new age

Investing in innovation is important to the progression of a business because it supports the creation and development of new ideas. It enables the bringing together of a diverse range of expertise for the best possible outcome. The biggest and fastest-moving companies in the world invest in innovation constantly, knowing that it's how businesses progress and thrive in the fast-moving modern world.

Alongside some vital partnerships, Goodyear is investing in visionary startups through Goodyear Ventures. These are organizations that are changing the face of the future of mobility – something Goodyear, with its long legacy of innovation, is able to elevate.

For example, Starship Technologies is creating a shift in the supply chain with autonomous robots that can carry and deliver items — something that will drastically change last-mile logistics. At a customer's request via an app, parcels and groceries can be picked up by these advanced robots and delivered anywhere within a four-mile radius. Not only do they save money and energy compared with using vehicles, but they're safe and secure, moving at pedestrian speed with the intelligence to move around obstacles.

The interest in the future and autonomy doesn't end there. Goodyear has invested in TuSimple, a company that has created a new standard in safety with self-driving technology specifically designed for heavy-duty trucks. These reliable, low-cost freight services are set to transform logistics as we know it.

Autonomous technology is far from the only area Goodyear Ventures is investing in. With Envoy, it's diversified its portfolio by investing in an organisation that is making the future of mobility a community affair. It's an electric car-sharing service and platform that provides EVs as exclusive amenities in workplaces, hotels, and apartments, with dedicated parking spaces and charging stations. With short-term car rental services already growing in popularity, mobility as a service is the inevitable evolution.

Leading by example

This is why Goodyear is far, far more than just tires. In fact, it's always had one foot in advanced innovation. From building and testing the first American-made synthetic rubber tire in 1937, to creating the first tires that landed on the moon for Apollo 14 in 1971, to inventing the Eagle radial racing tyre that enabled Al Unser Sr. to gain his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in 1987, Goodyear has never stopped aiming as high as imaginable.

Some businesses innovate without realizing it, always improving their operations in small ways for benefit of their customers. Others make it a priority, which is the best way to optimize innovation and contribute to true disruption. Whether or not it's about writing the script for the future of mobility, the way Goodyear is doing with its partners, these powerful collaborations are what shape the future across each and every sector of business.

For more information on Goodyear Ventures, go to www.goodyearventures.com.