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article imageAbility to assess tire tread-wear in real-time is coming

By Tim Sandle     Mar 24, 2019 in Technology
Durham - An important safety feature for vehicles, especially fleet vehicles, is tire tread. Currently technology cannot accurately measure tire-tread reduction in real-time. This could be about to change according to startup Tyrata.
Tire sensor and data management company Tyrata (based in Durham, North Carolina, U.S.) has crossed a major technology milestone in terms of commercializing a real-time tread wear sensor. The device can alert drivers when tire tread depth has grown dangerously thin.
The prototype Tyrata devices are designed to be fitted inside of the tire using proprietary IntelliTread tire sensor technology. These sensors make use of wireless signals in order to track millimeter-scale changes in tread depth.
The development of these sensors is challenging since tires are heterogeneous structures composed of many raw materials, with each material having a different property. Over time sensor size and structure to substrate and ink materials have been investigated to optimize the performance of the printed sensors.
In tests to date, Tyrata is has reported to Smart2Zero a step forwards with sensor design and operation, showing reproducible and repeatable results. In terms of how the sensor works, when a voltage is applied to the sensor, an electrical signal moves through the tire. As the rubber wears down, the signal changes. Variations to signal changes can be used to determine the tire's tread depth. The data can be wirelessly transmitted for further analytics to the vehicle owner.
Commenting on the progress to date, Jesko von Windheim, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Tyrata, said: “With these recent results, Tyrata has demonstrated significant progress in moving from our early bench-top technology demonstrations towards real-world application of our sensors inside of a tire.”
He adds: “By demonstrating reproducible measurements in various consumer tires, we've achieved a major milestone in the development of our technology.”
To support the development and future production, Tyrata has recently raised around $4.5 million in private equity financing. This investment will go toward developing its sensor technology and preparing for large-scale manufacturing.
As an alternative, researchers at Duke University have demonstrated how an inexpensive printed sensor can monitor car tire wear in real time. This sensor is based on metallic carbon nanotubes which have been configured to track millimeter-scale changes in tread depth with 99 percent accuracy.
More about vehicle technology, tire sensors, Tires, Automotive, Tyrata
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