Continental is once again celebrating a huge anniversary: just this month, the production of its 200 millionth tire pressure sensor took place. The company’s locations in France (Toulouse), Mexico (Guadalajara), and Korea (Icheon), supply a huge number of automakers in Europe, Asia and America.
Andreas Wolf, head of Continental’s Body & Security business unit, recounts that since their initial development 16 years ago and the beginning of production in 2002, they have constantly developed the technology of their tire pressure sensors and enhanced the costs so that their sensors can be used in all vehicle classes. He says that they are very happy to be able to continue their success with the number of 200 million manufactured units.
The German automotive manufacturing company is convinced of the advantages of direct tire pressure monitoring systems and hence is focused on the production of highly suitable sensors. The direct measurement method is fully based on a sensor inside each tire to collect fast, direct and precise readings of the air pressure and to give the pertinent information right away. Also, the market has recognized the pros of direct measuring systems: in Europe, for instance, two thirds of vehicles, which feature tire pressure monitoring systems, already utilize the direct method. This figure is even more than 85 percent in North America.
Wolf adds that the safety and environmental mega trends in the automotive industry are specifically essential to them in developing their products and solutions. He notes that they have recognized the advantages of tire pressure monitoring sensors for these trends and thus, constantly develop their technology. “Our sensors are already making driving safer and more efficient.”
The sensors guarantee more safety by enabling the driver maintain the recommended tire pressure. The driver gets information regarding the status of the tire pressure and can react right away. This improves the vehicle’s handling performance and reduces the risk of breakdowns and accidents. For instance, the braking distance increases by more than six meters on a wet road surface at a speed of 100 km/h and a tire pressure of 1.6 instead of 2.1 bar. In terms of the environment, the suitable tire pressure enhances the rolling resistance and reduces tire wear. Therefore, the vehicle drives more efficiently and consumes less energy while rolling. if the tire pressure of all four tires of a car is 0.2 bar too low, fuel consumption increases by as much as 1 percent. This figure climbs to four percent if there is 0.6 bar pressure loss and the service life of the tire falls by 45 percent.
All new cars in the member states of the EU should be fitted with a tire pressure monitoring system since November 2014.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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