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Goodyear and Siemens VDO unveil Tire IQ system

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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Siemens VDO Automotive unveiled its Tire IQ tire-based pressure monitoring system at the Geneva Motor show this week.

They also will be reviewing the technology at the SAE World Congress in Detroit and at the Tire Technology Exposition in Hamburg, Germany.

Tire IQ works through a "tire tag" developed by Goodyear and Siemens. This tag, comprised of a computer chip and sensor that monitors tire temperature and air pressure, is about the size of a watch battery and is built into the tire.

Specific tire information and warnings are relayed to the driver via a radio communications system developed by Siemens.

The technology includes jointly developed software that calculates recommended tire pressure based on data including air temperature, tire pressure, tire load, vehicle speed and other driving habits.

"With the Tire IQ system, we're making tire care as easy as monitoring fuel levels," said William Hopkins, Goodyear's vice president, product and technology planning. "A quick glance at the instrument panel will instantly let drivers know if their tires are properly inflated for efficiency and safety."

"We are excited to offer our customers a tire-based product that combines the benefits of pressure monitoring and radio frequency identification (RFID)," Hopkins said.

Drivers receive messages on the instrument panel based on current tire inflation levels, the rate of any pressure leak, and the time and distance traveled below the recommended level.

"At the first level, drivers receive a convenience message that simply makes them aware of any inflation deficiency in one or more tires," Hopkins explained. "They're prompted to add air the next time they stop for fuel." This situation might be prompted by conditions including carrying extra weight or traveling at higher rates of speed.

"If air pressure in one or more tires is deemed critically low, a warning message is displayed, together with a calculated number of miles to correct the situation," Hopkins said. Critical limits could be a threshold established by a law such as the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documenation (TREAD) Act, or by a manufacturer-defined minimum.

Goodyear is in discussions with several major vehicle manufacturers, and Hopkins anticipates this technology could be available on new vehicles as early as the 2006 model year.

Samples and demonstrations are now available to original equipment manufacturers for evaluation. The system enables vehicles to comply with new government regulations such as the TREAD Act that mandates low pressure warning capability in cars and light trucks.

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