USA: TRW and Michelin Focus on Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

By Press Release | 16 October 2000

- Thanks to an agreement between TRW (NYSE:TRW) and Michelin, consumers soon will have access to the next development in advanced tire pressure monitoring technology and a new generation of tire and wheel systems.
The combination of smart tires and intelligent software will give motorists the ability to avoid many of the hazardous driving conditions that can be caused by underinflated tires.

Bringing together TRW's expertise in tire pressure monitoring and radio-frequency communication technology with Michelin's expertise in tire/wheel systems and algorithm development means drivers will have advance warning when a tire experiences a potentially hazardous inflation level. Low tire air pressure can lead to tire failure while driving with current-generation tires.

TRW will display both its tire pressure monitoring technology and Michelin's Pax System technology in Booth 901 at Cobo Hall during the Convergence 2000 International Congress on Transportation Electronics, being held Oct. 16-18 in Detroit.

The TRW TireWatch(TM) System uses a sensor mounted on the tire valve stem to monitor air pressure and temperature inside the tire. The sensor transmits the information via a radio signal to a control unit in the vehicle, which provides warning messages to a driver information display. The Michelin Pax System is an innovative tire/wheel assembly that prevents the tire from coming off the wheel when the tire goes flat, while also providing excellent handling, mobility and safety in run-flat conditions.

TRW and Michelin will combine their complementary technological capabilities in several areas. For instance, treating the tire, wheel and sensor as a single system will allow the companies to optimize the entire package for performance, reliability, weight and cost. Additionally, Michelin's special predictive algorithms will use vehicle operating condition information and TRW's tire condition data to alert drivers to marginal tire operating conditions.

This technology will not only alert drivers to potential problems, but also will identify which tire is involved, with the warning delivered in time to take action. The ability to identify which wheel position on a vehicle is affected is referred to as autolocation.

The companies also will work on developing advanced warning strategies that will deliver information in the most effective format to alert drivers to take corrective action.

As part of their agreement, TRW and Michelin will develop improved tire pressure monitoring systems for both the Pax System and conventional radial tires. Tire pressure monitoring is required for run-flat tires. The agreement was announced September 27.