Pirelli Annual Report 2022
Artificial Intelligence and Pirelli
Advanced algorithms and cutting-edge automation systems are now intertwined with human expertise, enhancing capabilities and supporting the development of increasingly efficient and sustainable models.
Since 2018, Pirelli has been adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and, even before that, data analysis. This has involved creating technologies capable of generating shared knowledge, predicting phenomena and behaviors, anticipating events, and consequently supporting more informed business decisions.
Thanks to AI-based technologies, machines can now autonomously access, analyze, and learn from large volumes of real-time data. This represents a new cognitive ability that complements human skills, reduces the risk of errors, and, through continuous learning, improves the speed and accuracy of decisions, leading to optimized time and cost management.
Artificial intelligence is now widely employed throughout Pirelli: over thirty algorithms are already in operation or undergoing experimentation and development. They assist human decision-making in selecting new materials, creating new tires, industrializing the manufacturing process, and ensuring distribution and sales.
One example is predictive maintenance, where intelligent algorithms detect patterns and anomalies in machinery, enabling proactive intervention to prevent failures. These models indicate the optimal time for replacing critical components, positively impacting resource utilization and minimizing waste.
AI-driven quality control systems examine real-time production processes to ensure compliance with product specifications and standards.
Another potential lies in using artificial intelligence to assist production planning by forecasting demand generated by the sale and distribution of Pirelli-approved tires in various markets. This optimization of production capacity helps avoid bottlenecks and proactively anticipate investment needs to manage growth.
In particular, when evaluating opportunities to create approved products for automotive manufacturers, simulations can measure not only costs and revenues but also market demand for replacement tires and subsequent year revenues. Previously, this estimation relied on experiential data, but now Pirelli automates the process through algorithms.
AI also accelerates the design of new products, such as virtualization models in R&D, significantly reducing reliance on physical prototypes and raw material usage, which is crucial for sustainability.
In the future, algorithms will be capable of studying increasingly complex scenarios, although the decision-making process will remain a human prerogative. Automation has transformed the human-machine interaction over the past three decades, and now, artificial intelligence is changing the human-information interaction within the factory. Information no longer flows unfiltered and directly from production; it is the responsibility of humans to manage the complexity of data and the production scenario.
In other words, AI contextualizes and suggests actions that best respond to a given situation, while human intelligence takes action, making increasingly informed decisions.
The experience and knowledge of each individual have contributed to the development of AI models, but their application has also enabled the creation of widespread know-how across the entire Pirelli team worldwide. Knowledge is now instantly shared throughout the entire team, eliminating clustering. In a company with 150 years of history and industrial expertise, sharing and capitalizing on informational and experiential assets has become the main way to continue creating innovation in an increasingly fast-paced transformational context.