Continental recommends global OEMs adopt direct TPMS technology
Continental recommends car manufacturers worldwide adopt the consistent use of direct measuring technology in their new car models to ensure “vehicle tyres are always inflated to an optimum level.” Writing in a press statement promoting the international tyre, TPMS and automotive supplier’s position on the issue, Continental said its recommendation is based on “steadily rising requirements to take on TPMS” and also reflects the “significant potential of direct measuring technology, making it possible to exploit the greater contribution to CO2 reduction.”
Looking at the total system benefits of direct Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) technology, Helmut Matschi, member of the executive board of Continental AG and head of the Interior division, said: “Direct tyre pressure monitoring is a showcase of how many benefits a vehicle manufacturer and driver can harvest when the technology choice is made taking the whole system into account. Direct measuring technology is superior in speed and accuracy on an immediate function level. But when you look at the additional driving safety and comfort that can be created on the system level if using sensors inside the tyre, this builds a strong case for direct pressure measurement.”
Conti: Indirect systems in-sufficient
As direct TPMS are based on sensors inside each tyre actively measuring the air pressure (as opposed to information from the wheel speed sensors calculating estimates), Continental suggest the indirect principle will not be sufficient to ensure the intended fuel economy levels and is therefore not capable enough to help to meet the European CO2 targets.
To reduce CO2 emissions, TPMS is becoming mandatory in more and more countries
In addition to the existing passenger vehicle legislation in the US. For example phase 1 of tyre pressure monitoring will be mandatory in the European Union (EU) as of 2012 and in Korea in 2013. Phase 1 was a first step to help car drivers to reduce fuel consumption. A European Phase 2 is planned to further ensure that the overall plan to reduce CO2 emissions and to raise the safety level is followed by using all reasonable available measures.
According to Continental, the drive behind both Phases of the legislation is to improve the status of properly inflated tyres and thus vehicle safety, reduced fuel consumption and emissions. While this is good news, the final benefit to the driver may differ depending on the type of tyre pressure monitoring technology fitted in their car. Why is this so? Statistics reveal that most tyre failures, for instance, are caused by a slow, gradual, and thus unnoticed loss of air. Direct systems can recognize gradual pressure loss with faster reaction time and higher precision. Direct tyre pressure measurement reveals that problem quickly because it can work with much tighter thresholds. Giving the driver critical, accurate tyre information enables the driver to react in a timely manner. By taking quick, corrective action, the vehicle safety is increased because proper tyre inflation ensures optimal vehicle handling and helps to keep tyre rolling resistance down. This directly translates into reduced fuel consumption and maximization of the tyre’s life.
Continental to offer tyres with sensors by 2013
As you might expect, Continental, which has a significant influence in the sector following its acquisition of one of the leading players in the market (Siemens VDO) a few years ago, says it is in a perfect position to drive this technology. And what’s more Continental will be ready for series production with the first passenger cars tyres with the tyre module mounted inside the tyre in 2013.
“Already today tyres are high-performance and high-tech products” says Dr. Burkhard Wies, vice president Tyre Line Development of Continental´s Passenger and Light Truck division: “Fitting tyres with sensors takes the functional scope and the contribution of tyres with correct air pressure to driving safety and to reducing rolling resistance plus emissions to a whole new level. With the perspective of adding other functionalities like detecting the load on each wheel, further enhancements of safety are possible by combining this information with vehicle control systems.”