Self inflating tires: where the technology is today

Wouldn't be great if you never had to pump up your tires again? Keeping your tires properly inflated improves your gas mileage; obviously a good thing for the environment. There are technological solutions to underinflated tires on the market: There's TMPS, and Onstar can alert you when your tire pressure is low. Devices that actually do the re-inflating for you do exist but mostly in the trucking industry. The systems cost too much to install in smaller cars, but companies are working on bringing those costs down.

This 2005 article from Sandia National Laboratories talks about Dale Petty's automatic tire inflating system. Dale's system uses wheel-mounted high pressure nitrogen bottles. The use of nitrogen bottles could really keep the costs low for an automatic system. BTW, the systems I mentioned don't re-inflate a punctured tire like the Bond movie below the fold. You may want to look into run-flat tires for a solution to that problem.

[Source: Sandia National Laboratories]

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