AUTOMOTIVE This provides an alternative to manual checks
that can be costly, inaccurate and time consuming. WheelRight’s drive-over system generates easy-to- read printouts or text messages for drivers to quickly reveal the state of vehicle weight and tyre pressure.
UK TRIALS REVEAL EXTENT OF TYRE PROBLEMS The technology was put on trial in the UK over 12 months between 2015 and 2016 at the Welcome Break Keele Services on the southbound M6 motorway. Throughout the course of the trial, which included both cars and HGVs, WheelRight collated some truly shocking statistics on the state of under inflation on British roads.
Over the course of the pilot study, the system measured more than 50,000 HGV tyre pressures revealing that every single HGV on UK roads is typically running with at least one under-inflated tyre. Approximately 65% of the HGV drivers surveyed by WheelRight said they had experienced a tyre related issue while driving on the motorway. Over 90% of drivers said they would use the WheelRight system once a month to supplement their daily checks and 95% rated the system nine out of ten for accuracy and ease of use.
SIMPLE TO USE I asked John Catling, the CEO and a founder of WheelRight, how motorists engage with the system. He explained that motorists simply drive over the instrument, which is embedded into the road or garage forecourt. There is no equipment needed on the vehicle itself – with nothing touching the tyres apart from the embedded instrument as the car passes over. “The latest version now provides both tyre pressure and tread depth data to the driver within seconds. Vehicle identification (ID) is another feature of the latest version of the system,” he explained. There are a number of ways the driver can access the results – either by mobile phone or using a kiosk. The kiosk provides the option of a graphic of results as well as the vehicle number plate and photo of car. Here, the driver acknowledges their vehicle and receives the results with a touch of the button. Alternatively, the driver can use the kiosk to receive a simple printed report, giving tyre pressures and tread depth. Using a mobile phone, drivers can receive the
data on screen and register their details on the WheelRight website so that all future tyre readings are automatically sent to their mobile. Once registered, drivers can also use the WheelRight system to highlight tyre condition issues, alerting them when pressures fall beyond certain agreed limits and allowing drivers to monitor their tyres over time, building up a complete history of their pressures.
TECHNOLOGY FOR SMART CITIES Now, Wheelright has extended its trials to the USA, where the company is deploying its tread depth and pressure measurement system on “The Ray”, an 18 mile stretch of highway on Interstate 85 connecting
12 /// DAQ, Sensors & Instrumentation 2017
❱❱ On-the-go tyre checks can now be carried out on The Ray stretch of highway in Georgia
Georgia and Alabama, which aims to show how zero deaths, zero waste and zero carbon can be achieved on US interstates. Named in memory of Ray Anderson, a local visionary and sustainable company pioneer, The Ray is employing the Wheelright system as part of a networked system of smart city applications which the state of Georgia is showcasing as a vision of new ideas and technology to transform transport systems. Wheelright is being installed at The Ray’s visitor information centre.
IMPROVED SAFETY ON US ROADS Smart transport systems in the USA are expected to make significant reductions in the current death toll of around 35,000 people per year in the country and tyre condition is one factor that can easily be influenced by easily accessible information about tyre pressures and tread depths whilst on the move. Nearly a quarter of a million vehicles visit the West
Point Visitor Centre on The Ray every year and now they all have free access to the Wheelright system as well as freely available air to inflate tyres to the right pressure. By running at the right pressure, motorists can expect not only safer journeys, but also improved fuel economy and reduced maintenance requirements. Commenting on the company’s latest installation
on The Ray, Catling said, “The adoption of our tyre monitoring technology at The Ray opens it up to a completely new market of American motorists and help to reduce costs, accidents and carbon emissions.” For the future, Wheelright is engaging with businesses, fleet operators and government bodies the world over about installing and rolling this technology out. “Ultimately, WheelRight would like to see every vehicle on roads worldwide driving with the full complement of properly inflated tyres,” Catling concluded. EE
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