Whether or not you believe properly inflated tires save fuel, more and more vehicles are coming equipped with tire pressure monitoring sensors (TPMS). Sensors mounted in either the valve or on the wheel itself measure tire pressure and alert drivers when their tires drop below a pre-set level of inflation. An Irish company (who's website is mysteriously malfunctioning as of this writing) coincidentally called Shrader Electronics has now taken TPMS to the next level.
The last decade has been a boon for technologies like traction and stability control, but the tire itself has remained relatively low tech. Schrader Electronics is reportedly looking to change that equation with a "smart tire" that could be production ready within three years. The electronics company already knows a thing or two about tires, as a self-proclaimed global pioneer of the Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems that stabilize today's trucks and crossovers.
Tire pressure monitoring systems. Not the sexiest thing here at SEMA, but bear with us for a few minutes to geek out on one of the coolest things we've seen at the show that doesn't involve a whole vehicle.
Keeping your tires properly inflated is a very good idea. An under-inflated radial can increase wear while also decreasing performance and fuel economy. But if the state of California can help it, under-inflated tires may soon be a thing of the past.