The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and TRW Automotive have signed a five-year agreement to jointly study tires, braking, suspension and steering systems to accelerate product development for vehicle manufacturers. “A key focus of the development program will be optimizing the interaction of tires, suspension, braking and steering systems,” said Steve Roth, Goodyear’s director of vehicle systems. “The goal will be to enhance vehicle ride, handling, and other safety, performance and comfort characteristics.” Phil Cunningham, TRW Chassis Systems product business director, noted that the agreement will initially allow the companies to exchange modelling data related to these systems: “We expect to develop joint subsystems models that can be used with selected vehicle model software packages not only to improve existing products but to develop new products for vehicle manufacturers.” Goodyear, based in Akron, will share its design integration and manufacturing expertise in conventional and extended mobility — EMT run-flat — tires; its array of engineered rubber products such as air springs, bushings and mountings; and its knowledge of functional areas related to ride, handling, traction, wear, noise and vibration. TRW Automotive, headquartered in Livonia, will share its design and engineering knowledge of advanced braking, steering and suspension systems and components and how it uses such technology for improved braking and handling performance. “This agreement with TRW, a leader in suspension and braking systems, is a great opportunity for both companies to co-develop our capabilities for future products,” Roth said. “It also complements the ongoing suspension development work we have underway with our vehicle systems group — an effort that is moving Goodyear well beyond our traditional role as a supplier of tires to OEMs.” “We are pleased to partner with Goodyear because of its global expertise in tires and engineered products,” said Cunningham. “We are excited about the potential to improve our products and product development cycle by bringing together the capabilities of our two companies in the area of vehicle dynamics and chassis systems design and development. This is an opportunity to add real value for our customers,” he added.