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Motorists in the state of Georgia will today (20th December 2016) be the first in the world to use a new technology that measures both tire pressure and tread depth in seconds, without the need for any equipment or monitors in the vehicle itself. The unique, drive-over technology has been adopted by The Ray, an 18 mile stretch of highway on West Georgia’s Interstate 85, which aims to show that zero deaths, zero waste and zero carbon can be achieved on US highways.

The award-winning, tire monitoring technology has been developed by WheelRight, a company based in Oxford, UK. The business believes that its easy-to-use system could drastically improve safety on US roads, helping to reduce the 35,000 fatal accidents that occur every year.

American Department of Transport (DoT) data demonstrates that underinflated tires can lead to skidding, hydroplaning, increased stopping distance, and blowouts.  All of these tire failure issues increase the chances for crashes that can result in fatalities and injuries. The International Tire and Rubber Association cites tire under-inflation as the single most common factor in tire failure.
Working in conjunction with other networked safety systems on The Ray, the WheelRight solution is ideal for smart city applications, providing detailed tire condition information instantly via printed read-outs or directly to mobile phones or laptops.

WheelRight is working in conjunction with the charitable foundation behind The Ray and vehicle partner Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG). Its patented, award-winning drive-over tire monitoring technology is free to use at The Ray’s Visitor Information Centre at the one mile marker of the highway.

This will be the first publicly available installation of the WheelRight drive-over tire safety system anywhere in the U.S. Results of tire pressure and tread depth measurements will be provided automatically on all tires within seconds via a touch-sensitive kiosk that provides a printed read-out to drivers.

While tire pressures are taken when the vehicle drives over the road-embedded sensor plates, tread depth is measured via sophisticated multi-image technology and imaging software.
John Catling is CEO and a founder of WheelRight. He said: “While we’ve already road tested our technology on the UK’s busy M6 motorway, the adoption of our tire monitoring technology at the visitors’ center puts us alongside driverless cars, smart solar-powered roads and bio-energy projects, all of which all prove the exciting future awaiting sustainable highways.

“The opportunity to demonstrate our solution to around 750,000 drivers and passengers every year at The Ray is a great way of spreading the word about our simple, drive-over solution.
“Motorists just need to drive over our embedded strip to receive their tire readings within seconds via a print-out at a nearby kiosk. There’s no need for any other kit on the car itself. We think this kind of cloud-based technology is going to revolutionise the way people look after their tires – reducing accidents, costs and carbon emissions.”

KMMG and The Ray have committed to fully fund the acquisition and installation of the WheelRight tire safety technology, thereby providing the services free of charge to drivers on The Ray, and creating more awareness of the dangers and negative economic impacts of driving with under or overinflated tires and badly worn treads.

Annually, more than 762,000 visitors traveling in nearly 244,000 cars and trucks stop at the West Point Visitor Information Centre for travel guidance and comfort breaks.

KMMG and The Ray are providing an air compressor at the Visitor Centre, which will allow drivers to adjust tire inflation at no charge, thereby reducing maintenance costs and achieving better fuel efficiency.

The WheelRight tire safety system was unveiled at a showcase event at The Ray on Tuesday 20th December, which was attended by Governor Nathan Deal and senior officials from the State of Georgia.

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