Pirelli Technology Creates a New Generation of
Second-Generation Tire Monitoring System Unveiled at Geneva Motor
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 5, 2004 -Pirelli will unveil
the new, second generation of its K-Pressure safety system at the
74th Geneva Motor Show. A device for monitoring the pressure and
temperature of tires, K-Pressure is able to send data to a display
inside the car through sensors that transmit via a radio frequency.
In the case of an anomaly, a dashboard light and an acoustic alarm
will signal which wheel has the problem, enabling the motorist to
maintain a continuous check on his vehicle’s functions.
The first fundamental new feature of this latest generation
K-Pressure is that it is made entirely from Pirelli technology.
Developed using expertise generated by synergy with other Pirelli
Group companies, this new generation of K-Pressure is the first
step towards a pioneering evolutionary phase that will see the tire
increasingly integrated into the various vehicle management and
The second fundamental new feature is that the sensors of the new
Pirelli K-Pressure are no longer fitted to the wheel, but adhere
directly to the inner surface of the tire (two Pirelli patents).
This facilitates the application of the device and makes for faster
fitment, reducing to almost zero the risk of damaging sensors
during the mounting and demounting of tires. The new system
provides more information on the tire to which it is directly
applied, including the level of the temperature in the area near
the tread. It can easily be seen how temperature measurement by
K-Pressure can be of maximum use, even to a new product design and
Because of the extremely low power consumption of the sensors,
another important characteristic of the new Pirelli K-Pressure to
modern motoring is its ability to function even when the vehicle is
standing still. If an anomaly in the tire’s pressure is discovered
when the car is not in motion, an alarm alerts the driver as soon
as the vehicle’s ignition is switched on and before the engine is
started. An additional safety feature.
All of these characteristics combine to define a system that is
extremely reliable and long-lasting-up to six years-and one that
has ample potential for further development, such as contact with
the outside environment, lower power usage and others. A system as
versatile in its many applications as the number of different
vehicles to which it can be fitted.
The Pirelli K-Pressure can also operate on 4-wheel-drive and on
vehicles critically in need of continuous rear tire pressure
monitoring. A special “remoter” is available for long trailertype
vehicles including some motor homes. The remoter permits the
acquisition of data from an area near the tire, and transmits the
information by Lin Bus to the central display of the towing
As it is no longer fitted to the rim but applied directly to the
tire, K-Pressure can be re-used. It can easily be removed at the
end of a tire’s life and applied to a new tire.
The system will go on sale next June through tire specialist
networks linked to Pirelli in Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Great
Britain, Holland and Belgium.
The K-Pressure being unveiled at Geneva represents a new step
forward in Pirelli’s project to transform tires from passive
components into intelligent systems, able to interact swiftly with
the overall vehicle control infrastructure.
But Pirelli’s activity in the area of intelligent tires does not
end with a TPMS- Tire Pressure Monitoring System-of which
K-Pressure is a part. The Group maintains continuous and productive
working relationships with leading research institutes, active in
the application of associated technology to the miniaturization of
components. Those organizations, which also use MEMS techniques,
include Pico Radio, Micro Sensori and others. Pirelli’s latest work
in this field is being carried out with the Berkeley Sensor and
Actuator Center and the DOP Center for Embedded Systems at the
University of California in Berkeley.
Pirelli Tire North America specializes in the manufacture and
marketing of high-performance car, light truck and motorcycle tires
and currently has three of its highly advanced MIRS™
(Modular Integrated Robotized System) modules in operation in a new
factory near Atlanta, Georgia, to better serve the American OEM and
Replacement markets. For more information, visit the Company’s web
site at: www.us.pirelli.com.