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Continental Developing Tire Tread Depth Monitor

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/10/2014 Alex Nishimoto

The "idiot light" is about to get smarter, which could mean drivers are about to get lazier. Continental is developing a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that can measure tread depth and warn drivers when their tires are close to being bald.

Research

New software and in-tire pressure sensors allow the system to gather information based on tire deformation and rolling characteristics, which change gradually over time as the tire wears. Continental's engineers have compiled data on numerous tires, and the software can compare a next-gen TPMS-equipped tire's rolling characteristics against the accumulated data to ascertain tread depth. If the system determines the tread is too low, it will alert the driver that a tire change is necessary. 2014 SRT Viper Stryker Green Wheel Closeup© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 SRT Viper Stryker Green Wheel Closeup

Continental expects the feature to be rolled out in new vehicles by 2017, when its latest electronic Tire Information System (eTIS) becomes available. The company still advocates checking tread depth manually, though we wonder if future generations will understand the connection between tire tread and Abraham Lincoln's head.

Source: Continental

2013-nissan-pathfinder-concept-advanced-tpms-1© Provided by MotorTrend 2013-nissan-pathfinder-concept-advanced-tpms-1
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