ProContour tire tread scanner

ProContour tire tread scanner

Officials in the UK are currently investigating the benefits of new tire tread scanners built into the road and designed to detect illegal tread depths as vehicles pass over it.

The technology, which relies on a series of high-speed cameras and leasers, was developed by German firm ProContour and costs about $67,000 a piece.

The scanner can measure the tread depth of vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 75 mph, reports AutoExpress, making the results available for further tracking or potentially to warrant a fine.

Generally, a tire is considered defective or ‘bald’ if 75 percent of the main contact patch has less than 1.6 millimeters of tread left.

Drivers with bald tires are a potential threat to numerous others sharing the road due to less grip, so the merits of the technology are understandable.

In fact, a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 9 percent of all passenger cars in the U.S. had at least one bald tire.

However, if any authorities choose to implement such technology in their own roads, we only hope that it’s used as a screening tool with warnings sent out rather than fines.