Mobile solution to reduce tyre blowouts

13 Jun 2003

Motorola has developed a new pressure sensor that notifies drivers when tyre pressure is not at the optimal pressure level, reducing blowouts and extending tyre lives.

Under the cumbersome title MPXY802OA, the chipset consists of a sensor with microcontrollers and a radio frequency communication device that car manufacturers and automotive engineers can install in a car to meet emerging safety demands.

Government agencies, advocacy groups, technology consortia and automotive OEMs have joined a global movement to increase car occupancy safety. In the US, the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act was passed in 2000, requiring automotive manufacturers to install tyre pressure monitoring systems in cars manufactured from November this year.

The enabling technology behind tire pressure monitoring is pressure sensing, which measures a tyre’s inflation level. To ‘talk” to the vehicle’s dashboard, the sensors send signals through accompanying microcontrollers and analogue integrated circuits (ICs) that work together as a chipset.

The MPXY8020A sensor is used in remote sensing modules mounted onto valve stems or wheel wells. It operates on low power, uses little board space and is available as a four-part chipset that includes microcontrollers and radio frequency (RF) communication.

A recent report – ‘Automotive Silicon Sensor Market’ by Strategy Analytics cites that growth for tyre pressure monitoring will likely be driven by a combination of consumer demand for better automobile safety; vehicle manufacturer demand to avoid tire failures in ‘high-value vehicles’ (sports cars, minivans and SUVs); and legislation in the US. The firm projects the market for silicon-based sensors in automotive applications will grow to US$6bn by 2010.

By John Kennedy