New legislation approved by Congress has automotive manufacturers scrambling to determine how best to integrate low-tire-pressure warning systems into new cars and trucks. The answer may mean taking a good look in the mirror.
Spurred on by recent tire recalls and the belief that under-inflated tires can lead to accidents, lawmakers have asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to draft standards for low-tire-pressure warning systems. Automakers would then be required to meet these standards over the course of the next several years.
But integrating new features into a vehicle isn't as easy as it may sound. Redesigning, retooling and manufacturing instrument panels and/or overhead consoles to accommodate new features and displays require a costly, time-consuming process that can often take three to five years.
That's why Gentex has developed a tire pressure monitoring mirror that warns the driver when one or more of the vehicle's tires becomes under inflated.
The mirror receives information from sensors located in each tire or from the vehicle's ABS system. If a tire is under-inflated, the mirror's display alerts the driver so he or she can take the appropriate action.