Feel­ing tyred and emo­tional

If your car is off-colour, your tyres will re­veal all, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

SMART tyres that monitor them­selves and the road, and then ‘‘talk’’ to your car, are com­ing. A few years af­ter lux­ury car and bike mak­ers in­tro­duced au­to­matic tyre-pres­sure mon­i­tors as a safety fea­ture, the Cy­ber Tyre is claimed to make the next big safety step.

At least, that is the be­lief of Schrader Elec­tron­ics, a com­pany that spe­cialises in au­to­mo­tive sen­sors.

It has worked with the Pirelli tyre com­pany to pro­duce a sen­sor that is mounted in­side the tyre rather than on the valve or wheel rim, as with cur­rent tyre-pres­sure mon­i­tors.

The sen­sor trans­mits in­for­ma­tion to re­ceivers in the car and then through the car’s com­puter to the driver.

The in­for­ma­tion goes a lot deeper than cur­rent tyre pres­sures or — as in For­mula One — tem­per­a­tures across the tread.

The in­for­ma­tion will in­clude the tyre’s tread depth, pres­sure and tem­per­a­ture, the shape of its ‘‘foot­print’’ on the road and the amount of load it is un­der at all times, from nor­mal run­ning to ac­cel­er­at­ing, brak­ing and corner­ing.

Sen­sors will also monitor road con­di­tions to mea­sure the amount of grip.

All this in­for­ma­tion will be made avail­able to the car’s safety sys­tems — anti-lock brakes, sta­bil­ity con­trol and trac­tion con­trol — to pro­vide more in­stant data to keep the ve­hi­cle sta­ble and safe.

Schrader says the sen­sors work by mea­sur­ing pres­sure, tem­per­a­ture, av­er­age load and the num­ber of rev­o­lu­tions of each tyre.

Schrader spokesman Al­fonso Di Pasquale says the Cy­ber Tyre will ‘‘en­hance a ve­hi­cle’s safety and the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence’’.

The first Cy­ber Tyre sys­tem will be on sale in Europe this year and around the world by 2013.

The com­pany is not giv­ing any de­tails about which com­pa­nies will pick it up for new-model use or the pro­jected price.

Safety: a sen­sor in a Pirelli tyre can re­veal a lot about its con­di­tion.

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