Since tires experience a wide range of working environments, I wonder about the incidence of false alarms from tread depth sensors. Will they work equally well on conductive surfaces (metal bridge plates), mud, water, and hot asphalt? Will they be mislead if something is sticking to the tire?
On the the load sensor front, will this spell the end of contests to see how many college kids can be crammed into a VW Beetle, the loaded cars bringing college kids home from their 4 years in school, or the heavy trailers being towed by family cars?
daleste: "Seems like the depth gauge that the guys at the tire shop use works fine."
Depth gauge? We don't need no stinking depth gauge! Just look at your tires once in a while! Tires have a wear bar built in to the tread, and in the US, you can use a penny to check tread depth. Place the top of the coin into the tread and if the top of Lincoln's hairline is exposed, you've run out of tread.
Then again, for those with more money than brains, these automated gizmos may help them, IF they pay attention to them.
The product seemingly is an overengineered product. When I can already see a the tread depth, why do I need extra sensor to tell me what I already know? If the car has been regularly serviced - twice a year or every 3 months depending on model of car, the mechanic will check the tire and warn the owner of the car already.
Having said that, I realize not every car owner will keep an eye on the tire. Not every mechanics are checking the tires. An extra eye is not a bad idea.
On the other hand, I can see the benefit of the product going to service truck. Keeping an eye to all tires in a 18 wheelers is definitely a challenge.
Another cost for the drivers. Great idea for Conti, though. Now when you get your tires replaced, you have to buy from them. Seems like the depth gauge that the guys at the tire shop use works fine. Why do I need to have the car tell me something I can see when I look at the tires?
At least twice per year, seemingly right after major seasonal temperature changes, the TMPS systems in our cars start issuing false positives even though all the tires are properly inflated. Happens on my 2011 Altima and on my wife's 2013 XTS - very annoying! Yes, where we live transistions from -25F to +100F BUT if the damn things aren't reliable there should be a way to disable the "feature".
If tires get so smart that they can detect the condition of themselves and send an alert to the car owner and may be the service station and service station calls back the car owner and advises on tire change and comes and pick up the car for service. That would be so much convenience.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.