Thursday, May 15, 2014

Continental readying tire tread-depth monitor

Continental In-Tire Tread Depth Monitor

Too many people ignore their tires. Most enthusiasts know that they are more than just pieces of rubber and are actually one of the most important factors in the ability to control a vehicle. Still, how many cars are driving around with clearly bald tires? Continental Tires thinks it has a solution, and it could start arriving on vehicles as soon as 2017.

The company's new system uses the an updated pressure monitoring system with new software to better understand each tire's rolling characteristics as it wears. The programming compares driving data to known information about how they should behave. Once the readings deviate too far, the system warns the driver to check the tread depth because it could be too low. Continental believes the wear-monitoring system could be available on some models in Europe as part of its electronic Tire Information System in 2017.

The tire company is also working on a further evolution of the system that could monitor load on tires. The software monitors their deformation as they roll and knows if there is too much weight on a corner. If there is, it notifies the driver. Continental even thinks it could link this system with assistance systems that would allow them to adjust for the vehicle's changing weight.

A Continental spokesperson told Autoblog a release date for the tire-wear detection system hasn't been set for the US yet. Scroll down to read the full details in the company's announcement.
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