Most of us know the ‘penny test’ but in the years to come we’ll be able to spend our loose change rather than use it to gauge tread depth. Continental AG says it intends to add an automatic tread depth reading feature to its ETIS (Electronic Tire Information System) and aims to make this available for fitment on new vehicle models by 2017.
According to Continental, this new feature is made possible by “intelligent software” that deduces tread depth from gradual changes in tire rolling characteristics. An in-tire pressure sensor calculates running characteristics from the variations in tire deformation. If tread depth goes below a tire-specific threshold value, the on-board electrical system signals that a tire change is due.
“We are delighted that we will, in future, be able to conveniently read tread depth electronically with the aid of sensors embedded in the tires,” commented Andreas Wolf, head of Continental’s Body & Security business unit.
The system draws upon a tire’s gradually changing rolling characteristics over a longer period of time. Continental’s tire and electronics developers conducted an intensive series of tests to collect basic data that will be fed into the electronics of future vehicles. In use, the specifics of altered tire rolling characteristics will be compared with accumulated empirical data, and if tread is run down to below a tire-specific threshold value, the on-board electrical system signals that a tire change is due. If so desired, the vehicle’s telematics module will even be capable of informing a local auto service center.
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Source Tire Review