Advertisement
08/08/2022

Discount Tire pilots automated tire changing system

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Image
RoboTire system
Discount Tire is automating tire changing with the RoboTire system.

A Discount Tire store is testing an artificial intelligence-based tire changing solution.

The leading retailer of tires and wheels is operating a RoboTire tire changing system at a store in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Systems from Michigan-based RoboTire use machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), high-definition cameras, proprietary software, and advanced robotics to change four tires on a passenger vehicle in less than 25 minutes.

At Discount Tire, RoboTire systems will remove, lift, and install tire and wheel assemblies, with the goal of helping to reduce technician injuries that can occur with repetitive heavy lifting. Store technicians will operate the systems and provide tire pressure monitoring and balancing services needed. Discount Tire is an investor in RoboTire.

Discount Tire has been expanding its omnichannel offerings. In December 2021, the company acquired Tire Rack, an independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, wheels and accessories. The retailer continues to use the Tire Rack brand name as TireRack.com online, TR Wholesale Solutions in car dealer and wholesale channels, and Tire Rack Mobile Installation in the mobile installation arena.

In April 2021, the company deployed a proprietary tire tread depth-reading mobile solution it co-developed with Anyline and Accucode, based on the Zebra Android-based TC75x mobile computer. Technicians swipe each tire to check for tread depth and scan the DOT code with the tool’s camera in real time, designed to enable them to assist more customers and reduce wait times.

The retailer also needs to keep pace with many other companies that are creating digital tools aimed specifically at aiding tire shoppers. In addition to a variety of digitally native and small specialty retailers, large organizations including WalmartAdvance Auto Parts and eBay Motors have all launched digital tire shopping applications. 

“At Discount Tire, our priority is to continually innovate on the services we offer to give the best possible experience to our customers," said Tom Williams, chief experience officer at Discount Tire. "We are excited to be the first to market in our space with RoboTire's technology. With our Discount Tire expert people operating RoboTire systems, we will make the workplace safer and the experience easier as we hope to continue to reduce customer wait times and take care of more and more customers."   

"Discount Tire has been a proven leader in the tire and wheel industry for more than 60 years,” said Victor Darolfi, RoboTire founder and CEO. “We are excited to expand our partnership with them to enhance safety and efficiency in their stores and help increase the number of customers that can be serviced on any given day. RoboTire's systems will drastically change how tire stores and service centers like Discount Tire approach changing tires, employee and vehicle safety, and customer satisfaction."

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Discount Tire operates more than 1,100 stores in 37 states. The company does business under the trade name Discount Tire in most of the U.S. and America's Tire in parts of California.