New Tire Technologies on the Horizon

Everett, Wash. -- New radio frequency identification (RFID) tags designed to identify tire size, specific tire components and tire manufacture dates to help track tire warranties will be released in early 2002 by Intermec Technologies Corp. A new tire-tracking standard, called B-11, also is under development by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), which will help implement the RFID tag technology. The technology already is being used to track hazardous medical waste.

Coincidentally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released results of its tire inflation survey on Wednesday, noting that about one-third of light trucks and one quarter of automobiles on U.S. roads have at least one underinflated tire. These results support a rule currently being drafted by the NHTSA to have a system installed in all vehicles made after Nov. 2003 to warn drivers about low tire pressure.