Tyre distributor invests in sensor start-up

Dealer Tire, a US replacement tyres and parts distributor for automotive dealerships, has announced it is the leading investor in financing Duke University startup Tyrata, a tyre sensor and data management company.

Tyrata secured US$4.5 million in financing from several investors including Cleveland-based Dealer Tire. According to the company, the start-up has an exclusive license with Duke University to develop sensors that monitor tyre tread wear in real time. The funding will enable Tyrata to further develop its sensor technology and prepare for large-scale manufacturing.

Tyrata’s tyre wear sensor can be linked to data analytics systems to improve safety in consumer vehicles, reduce fleet maintenance costs and provide data for the emerging autonomous vehicles market, according to Dealer Tire.

Scott Mueller, partner and CEO of Dealer Tire, said: “We at Dealer Tire see a strong potential for this technology to improve consumer safety as it relates to tyres. The investment in Tyrata is consistent with our strategy to enhance tyre safety and provide exceptional, value-added services to our stakeholders and for the benefit of the overall industry.”

Tyrata’s technology uses carbon nanotubes that can track millimetre-scale changes in tread depth.

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