Tires are a key sub-system of vehicles that have a big responsibility for comfort, fuel consumption and traffic safety. However, current tires are just passive rubber elements which do not contribute actively to improve the driving experience or vehicle safety. The lack of information from the tire during driving gives cause for developing an intelligent tire. Therefore, the aim of the intelligent tire is to monitor tire working conditions in real-time, providing useful information to other systems and becoming an active system. In this paper, tire tread deformation is measured to provide a strong experimental base with different experiments and test results by means of a tire fitted with sensors. Tests under different working conditions such as vertical load or slip angle have been carried out with an indoor tire test rig. The experimental data analysis shows the strong relation that exists between lateral force and the maximum tensile and compressive strain peaks when the tire is not working at the limit of grip. In the last section, an estimation system from experimental data has been developed and implemented in Simulink to show the potential of strain sensors for developing intelligent tire systems, obtaining as major results a signal to detect tire's loss of grip and estimations of the lateral friction coefficient.