Nokian Tyres plc is unveiling a tire tread measuring tool in its homeland of Finland. SnapSkan measures tread depth using an on-the-ground 3-D scanner, and with license plate recognition software, the system can send a free personal tire report by text message or email.
Drivers also can access their tire report online at www.snapskan.fi/en.
The SnapSkan service will appear along drivers' everyday routes, and the first will open Jan. 12, 2017, on the access road to the Q-Park Iso Erottaja underground car park in Helsinki, Finland. The plan is to expand the service throughout Finland, then to the Nokian-owned Vianor tire outlets. Ultimately the service will be introduced in other countries "in forthcoming years," the company says.
SnapSkan requires no additional equipment be outfitted on a consumer's vehicle, and it works with all brands of tires.
The technical service was developed in collaboration with Finnish technology partners Futurice and Affecto. The entire service is enabled by 3D scanning technology patented by British Sigmavision.
Nokian points to studies that indicate about 25% of tire-related accidents occur because the tire's tread depth is below minimum standards. The company says SnapSkan raises motorists' awareness of the condition of their tires.
"Too many people are unaware of the condition of their tires, and the threshold for replacing tires seems to be high," says Ville Nikkola, the leader of Vianor's retail business. "We want to use this new technology to raise drivers' awareness of the condition of their tires by making it as easy to access as possible."
Ari Lehtoranta, CEO and president of Nokian Tyres, says, "There is a big change ahead for our industry in the near future. Until now, the tire sector has lagged clearly behind other industries in terms of digitalization. It is high time to harness technology to serve motorists with regard to their tires. The sector needs a bold forerunner.
"It is our job to make our roads and environment safer. Our company's roots stretch back to 1898, and we have been at the forefront since then, providing a range of products and services related to road-users' safety. We launched the world’s first winter tire, and now we are launching the first service to report to motorists on tire safety directly by email or text message."
The Automobile and Touring Club of Finland says the service will make drivers' lives easier and will also improve safety.
Jukka Tolvanen, communications manager for the club, says, "This technology from Nokian Tyres also enables freedom of choice and cost-efficiency – it does not require equipment to be installed in cars at great expense."
For more information about SnapSkan, visit www.nokiantyres.com/snapskan,