Under-inflated tyres are thought to be a factor in a significant percentage of accidents on Australian roads, but a British innovation could soon be making a real difference in that department.
The WheelRight solution allows motorists to check their tyre pressure simply by driving over a sensory pad instead of having to manually check each tyre. A three-month pilot scheme of the tyre pressure monitoring system has just begun at the entrance to an English service station, and the company hopes it will soon be adopted all around the world.
The expectation is that the speed and ease of measuring tyre pressures will encourage more drivers to test their tyre pressure more often. Of course, for grey nomads who routinely travel thousands of kilometres, the potential benefits can be measured in dollars and cents, as well as in improved safety. When tyres are just 20% below their recommended pressures, fuel costs rise reportedly by up to 5%, and underinflated tyres also wear out and need replacing significantly more quickly.
The system does not require any sensors to be fitted on a vehicle. It simply takes ‘in-motion’ measurements of the tyre pressures as the vehicle drives over the sensor pads. Vehicles are identified by reading the numberplate as they approach the sensor plates on the ground. Within seconds, the data has been processed and sent to the WheelRight ‘Cloud’ server where information on known vehicles is compared to the database and a report is generated comparing the actual and the recommended pressures.
The tyre pressures can be advised to the driver by a display and printout at the service station till, or by means of a text message to a mobile phone.
John Catling, Chief Executive of WheelRight, said the system could really improve road safety.
“The ability to install it on forecourts means that every time a driver fills up with fuel there is the opportunity to check tyre pressures without any hassle and complication, which will help motorists to avoid endangering themselves and other road users,” he said.