Michelin unveils wireless tire system

ORLANDO, FL - Michelin Americas Truck Tires yesterday introduced its eTire System, an integrated electronic monitoring program for truck tires at a press demonstration here. The eTire System uses a specially developed InTire sensor (mounted inside the sidewall) to wirelessly transmit air pressure that is compensated for cold-temperature equivalency, as well as wheel position and other maintenance information, from each vehicle tire using either a dedicated handheld or permanently installed drive-by reader. Special BIB TRACK software reports the data in various formats over an Internet server. The InTire sensor can be attached to any brand of tire, allowing a fleet to monitor and track tires whether Michelin customers or not. Michelin said all data is in a secure server in the BIB TRACK software, and is not held in the InTire Sensor. This assures that if a tire is lost or damaged, information on it will remain in the database up to that point. The information collected can be accessed and tracked instantly via the Internet. The sensors were designed to last the life of a tire, including several retreading cycles, but can be removed and switched to a new tire. "The most important aspect of the eTire System is the benefit it delivers to the fleet," said Randy Clark, vp-marketing. "Crucial information, with real-time updates, allows fleet managers to spot problems early, reducing downtime and minimizing costs." Michelin was not keen on pricing the system as it can be configured in various manners and because actual pricing will ultimately be up to Michelin dealers, who will have first crack at offering the system. However, Clark said the "total cost per unit" should come in under $30.

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