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Continental's intelligent tires will detect a vehicle’s weight

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March 3, 2013

Continental says its future generation tire sensors will accurately detect the size of con...

Continental says its future generation tire sensors will accurately detect the size of contact area and calculate the vehicle load

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Since installing your own personal weigh station in the driveway isn’t really practical, drivers basically have to guess whether or not they’re exceeding the vehicle’s maximum payload weight. For many, this probably comes down to whether or not the wheels are scraping the arches, but international automotive supplier Continental is set to offer a more accurate approach by developing tires with the ability to detect a vehicle’s weight.

Continental’s ContiPressureCheck system already continuously monitors tire pressure and temperature using sensors that are glued to the inner surface of the tire tread. The company now plans to extend the capabilities of its tire pressure sensors to include detecting the weight of the vehicle to which they are fitted.

The system will rely on sensors that can accurately detect the size of the contact patch where the tire meets the road – the bigger the contact patch, the heavier the vehicle. By registering the rolling characteristics of the tire on the road with every revolution, and taking into account the existing tire pressure and data about how the tires are fitted, Continental says the system will be able to ascertain the vehicles weight after just a few hundred meters of driving.

Continental's Tire Pressure Monitoring System is glued to the inner surface of the tire tr...

This data would be relayed wirelessly to the driver, informing them whether they have exceeded the recommended payload for the vehicle, or whether the tire pressure should be adjusted to improve safety and fuel efficiency.

While the new load detection system and the sensors that will make it possible are still in development, Continental says the system will also enable improvements to assistance systems. While current emergency braking and steering systems make calculations based on a vehicle’s maximum payload, they could be made safer by using a vehicle’s actual weight.

Source: Continental

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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7 Comments

Seems it should have a built in tank and pump to regulate the pressure automatically for the driver, over pressure could be stored in the tank and released when needed.

seems if your going this far with the sensor why not go the extra step.

Jay Finke
4th March, 2013 @ 08:43 am PST

It would be a good idea for aircraft, because weight and balance (the location of the center of gravity of an aircraft) are critical for the flying capabilities. A too far aft location of the C.G. can make a airplane uncontrollable. An overweight airplane may fail to take off in the space available and/or climb fast enough to clear obstacles. Currently, when loading an airplane, passenger weights are just estimated, and probably not very accurately.

jeffrey
4th March, 2013 @ 10:28 am PST

Why wouldn't you just put a strain gauge on the suspension system? No need for sensing a contact area at all and a much more reliable measure.

imachicken
4th March, 2013 @ 11:41 am PST

I would rather have the money spent on a self inflating system.

Slowburn
4th March, 2013 @ 12:42 pm PST

The average car weighs about 3,000 pounds. The average american weighs in at 180.. Rarely does the average american drive their car with more than one person in the vehicle. Take into account a full tank of gas and the average american car will never fluctuate more than 10% of the vehicle's total weight...making this system quite pointless.

Ed
4th March, 2013 @ 10:00 pm PST

Coming soon, DOT mandated tire weight sensing system connected to an ignition interrupt which prevents the engine from being started if the vehicle is loaded even a tiny bit too much.

Just one more regulation to add to the pile.

Gregg Eshelman
4th March, 2013 @ 10:22 pm PST

Wouldn't a sub $0.01 "maximum load" sticker attached to the strut be sufficient?

sk8dad
5th March, 2013 @ 01:13 pm PST
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