The global market for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) is projected to reach US$20.8 billion by 2025, driven by tire pressure safety regulations and the overall electronification trend that makes TPMS a starting point for the development of truly electronic tires of the future. TPMS sensors are now being followed-up with other smart sensors integrated into the tire for energy harvesting; wheel speed monitoring, wheel alignment monitoring; road condition monitoring; friction analysis between the tires and road surface, among others. Interestingly, one of the last systems to be digitalized is the vehicle tire. Until now just a functional component made of rubber and filled with air, tires are undergoing rapid evolution. Concepts such as smart tires, electrical tires, intelligent tires, and digital tires highlight the impact of the electronification trend on automotive tires. Tires like all other vehicle components and sub-assemblies are becoming smarter to adapt to the digital environment. Tires are now required to communicate with the road, with the on-board vehicle communication systems and with the driver as semi-autonomous cars, smart cars and connected cars begin to hit the road coupled with stringent vehicle safety regulations and the ensuing migration from passive safety systems to active safety systems. TPMS represents a key active safety system. Tire sensors are the backbone of the smart tire concept. They offer operating data about the tire and its environment such as road conditions, tire pressure, tread conditions which is then used by the onboard computer systems to adapt the vehicle’s driving style and/or alert the driver to make changes in driving style to ensure greater safety.
In addition to providing tire pressure information as mandated by safety regulations, the simple TPMS is beginning to play critical roles in enabling smart tires of the future. TPMS will remain pivotal to electronic-tire information system that allows for tire pressure monitoring clubbed with tire condition monitoring, tread depth condition monitoring, and load monitoring which give alerts to the driver for timely wheel/tire replacement and to ensure fuel efficiency and emission reduction. In addition to low tire pressure as a leading cause of accidents, poor tire tread and uncared for tires are also responsible for vehicle crashes. New generation TPMS will emerge to offer a broad range of data beyond pressure monitoring such as tread wear & tear monitoring; temperature readings; and vehicle load analysis etc. As autonomous/self-driving cars inch closer to the promised commercialization, there is considerable focus shed on TPMS and its expanding role in enabling the development of smart tire. In autonomous cars where computers and sensors and cloud technologies replace a human driver’s judgement, the need for and importance of TPMS becomes even bigger, more urgent, and important. For successful and safer autonomous driving, tires are required to communicate with the road and with the on-board vehicle communication systems. TPMS in an autonomous car will play a key role in helping the vehicle respond to a flat tire. Also, in bad weather conditions, a TPMS will provide critical tire condition data that will help the vehicle take appropriate safety decisions. The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 58.7% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 17.7% over the analysis period supported by regulations that mandate all vehicles registered from year 2019 should be installed with TPMS and by the year 2020. TPMS demand in the Chinese OEM market will increase as the application of GB26149 for TPMS expands from vehicle category M and N to vehicle of category M1.
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