Cutting-edge vehicle features are more technologically sophisticated than their predecessors, with safety and reliability as the priority. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) technology is no exception to this evolution.
Correct tire pressure was a crucial component when many road accidents were caused by underperforming tires (like low tire inflation). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered there werenearly 11,000 tire-related motor vehicle crashes each year — many of these accidents are a result of tire underinflation. Additionally, there are roughly 78,000 crashes related to tire blowout accidents each year where approximately 400 individuals parish in these types of accidents.
So in 2007, NHTSA established a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requiring the installation of TPMS on passenger cars, trucks, multipurpose passenger vehicles made after 2007. This change greatly improves the probability of correcting tire pressure issues before a tire blowout or accident could occur.
Here’s how TPMS evolved in the last 10 years:
In 2013, the world saw the first programmable TPMS. The auto-location feature was still months away and this sensor was almost cumbersome to have. It required two or three part numbers and wasn’t primed for the current sensor technology we have today.
2015 ushered in the single SKU programmable sensor to the masses. The new and revolutionary sensor is what our cars know today. Using just one SKU made it possible for shops to service many vehicles with just one part number.
Aluminum adjustable stem options accommodated tire changes, confirming the TPMS would still function properly with different or new tires. The aluminum stem option also works with newer aftermarket systems.
Instead of gathering data from the wheel revolutions in the anti-lock brake system, direct TPMS provided detailed information specifically to each tire’s pressure and operation. Certain systems advanced enough to gauge inflation, temperature, acceleration, and even location.
Now, the U.S. TPMS industry is projected to grow at a rate of 9% every year.
Currently TPMS normally transmits from the tires to the car via radio frequencies (315 MHz and 433 MHz). The use of Bluetooth low-energy—or BLE TPMS—will replace these methods with BLE radio to enable two-way communication. BLE TPMS offers:
Clamp-in or snap-in configurations for a variety of vehicle speeds
Two-way, wireless communication
Enhanced cybersecurity authentication to avoid hacking
New, Over-the-Air updates (OTAs) to provide users the ability to download new features or updates for their tires
Longer battery life than current systems
Enhanced Tire Fill Assist: a phone feature allowing users to oversee their tires’ air pressure and status while inflating
Ultimately, safety has always been – and will continue to be – the goal when it comes to TPMS. Consumers will begin to see more detailed TPMS information with new safety advancement technology. The performance of TPMS in the next decade will be progressive, highly intelligent, and integral to the future of cars.