“Smart” Tires May Help Save Gas and Cut Emissions

Sure, we all know that properly inflated tires can improve fuel efficiency by leaps and bounds. But how often do we stop to break out the tire-gauge and check the PSI? Probably not often enough. A new technology from Schrader Electronics aims to help us overcome the awareness gap with a “talking tire” that alerts you when your tires aren’t properly inflated.

The Schrader tire pressure monitoring sensor (TPMS) works by transmitting information gathered from a sensor directly to the driver via receivers in the wheel housing and the car’s engine control unit. Unlike other TPMS systems currently in use, this sensor gathers information from inside the tire itself, rather than on the valve or wheel rim (presumably for more accurate readings).

Pirelli_Tire

image via Pirelli

The Schrader TPMS will be installed on the new, appropriately named “Cyber Tyre,” (after the UK spelling) under development in partnership with Pirelli. It is slated for launch in 2013–good news for drivers with transportation costs as well as carbon emissions issues.  Underinflated tires not only waste gas, according to Business Green, but they also shorten the lifespan of tires in proportion to the percentage they are underinflated by up to 25%.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.