Researchers finally know how tires make sound and the findings could save you money

Updated Apr 15, 2014

Yokohama tire sounds

Yokohama has announced that through work with the Japanese equivalent of NASA, the company for the first time has an understanding of how tires make sound.

The company sent a team of researchers to work with those at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science to create a 3D simulation of how a tire makes sound while traveling on a road.

And for the first time they were able to do it. The model, pictured above, shows both the air flow field around the tire and the resulting sounds it creates as it travels over the road.

In the process, the researchers learned that the noise tires create is caused not only by the air turbulence around a tire but also by the air constantly being compressed by the tire as it moves forward and makes contact with the road. That compressed air is also circulated around the tire creating more noise.

By better understanding this connection between air flow and tire noise, Yokohama says the findings will help them make quieter tires and more aerodynamic ones that could increase a vehicles fuel economy.