ERJ staff report (TP)
San Mateo County, California – Aperia Technologies has created an ingenious system that knows when your tire needs air, and then adds it, reported Alexander George for Wired.
The US company’s Halo Tire Inflator is designed for commercial trucks at present.
The five-pound device bolts to the centre of the truck’s wheel. Inside, a pump captures energy from a pendulum that swings with the wheel’s rotation. Aperia likens it to a self-winding watch. The rotation produces the pumping action, which works at any speed. Two air lines connect the pump to the tire – whenever an internal sensor detects low air pressure, the system sends air to the tire.
Aperia cites US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data that shows how more than half of all truck tires are under-inflated, which drives up tire maintenance costs by 10 to 15 percent. According to their calculations, properly maintained tire pressure can save up to $2,200 (€1,602) per truck per year – a figure that doesn’t include the savings from greater fuel efficiency and safety.
After a two-year testing period that included 8m miles (12.9m km) of testing, the company is ready to launch its system for Class 7 and 8 tractors and trailers. Aperia says it’s good for truckers of all stripes traversing any environment between -40 and 257°F (-40 and 125°C) and promises that each system is good for around 500,000 miles (804,672 km) of travel. Additional hardware can relay the tire inflation info to a screen in the cabin.
While the system is too big, bulky, and expensive for civilian use, there’s “no doubt” that automakers and aftermarket companies are looking to see how well the Aperia system fares before working on their own solutions for the rest of us.
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Full story from Wired