MAXAIR, ATMI Inc. has developed a new tire-pressure monitoring system for light vehicles, called MAXAIR, which automatically inflates under-inflated tires on equipped vehicles while in transit. The company says that its new technology could help reduce the 30,000 accidents and 660 deaths that are blamed on under-inflated tires every year in the United States, as well as help save drivers a potential $5 billion in gas and reduce CO2 emissions by 250 pounds per car annually by improving gas mileage 3.3%. The images below, along with additional information about MAXAIR, can be found on the company’s website:

“This feature is ready and available and could be on all new automobiles,” says Clyde Stech, president of MAXAIR, ATMI Inc. “It’s a matter of consumers demanding it and auto manufacturers making it available.”

The company says that ATMI product concept and patents are available for the automobile manufacturers to have on all-new vehicles, and they could also be made available for the aftermarket. While the company holds the patent on the technology, they are currently looking for an automotive supplier to build and make the product available on new vehicles.

MAXAIR not only detects when tires on cars, light trucks and SUVs are under-inflated, but it also automatically fills tires to the right pressure using air from an onboard compressor. But so far, auto manufacturers seem to be in the slow lane when it comes to offering this system on cars, SUVs and light trucks, MAXAIR notes.

Additionally, similar systems have been in existence in the heavy-duty trucking industry for over a decade. That industry has been experiencing the benefits of ATMI systems for years, and now it’s the automobile industry’s time. Monitoring systems currently on the market could be off by 20%–30%, MAXAIR says, and they only activate dashboard-warning lights to alert drivers that a tire needs air. Drivers then need to find air to fill the tires. With MAXAIR, it’s all done automatically and is accurate within 1%–2%.

MAXAIR says an automobile parts manufacturer could supply the device to automakers for about $200 a vehicle.

Source: MAXAIR, ATMI Inc. (June 7, 2007). “Auto Safety System Saves Lives, Fuel, & Greenhouse Gases.” MAXAIR, ATMI Inc. press release courtesy of PR Newswire.