Improperly inflated tires reduce fuel efficiency, increase carbon emissions and can be dangerous to drivers and roadway passengers. The Department of Transportation estimates that In the U.S alone, underinflated tires waste two billion gallons of fuel each year. Many drivers don’t keep their tires properly inflated because our current methods of monitoring and inflation are both difficult and inconvenient.
To improve fuel economy and safety—and to gather data to help inform public policy and drive awareness—The Ray is home to a roll-over tire pressure monitor located at the West Point Visitor Information Center. The WheelRight Tire Pressure Monitoring System can measure pressures on vehicles traveling up to about 15 mph; and the monitor’s connected to an automatic number plate recognition camera. The driver simply rolls over the monitor, and a text message sent directly to them delivers critical info about their tire pressure.
The data we collect at our existing tire monitoring station and future stations on The Ray may justify investment in the development of drive-through robotic tire inflation technologies. In fact, research and prototyping to build a system that can measure tread depth all around and across the tire is currently underway.