Researchers at Purdue University are experimenting with ‘smart’ tires designed to warn the driver of weak points in the tire that may lead to a blowout or flat before they occur. The technology differs from current air-pressure measurement systems as the entire tire becomes a sensor, and the exact location of any vulnerabilities can be pinpointed in less than a second.

The ‘smart’ tire is made of several layers of different materials through which electrical signals are sent, allowing the system to detect any changes in the tyre and then communicate them to the driver. The Purdue team lead by Gary Krutz has built 24 tires and plans to patent the technology, reports Reuters.

The technology would cost about $1 per tire to implement, but would end up as a $50 cost for consumers per tire. Krutz believes that the technology would most likely be adopted by race car teams first, as race car tires are extremely expensive and even more dependent on tires that will last the duration of the race without a blowout.

In terms of the consumer market, the tires will likely be adopted by luxury marques such as Mercedes and BMW as options or standard equipment first before filtering down to low end cars eventually.

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