Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Study

KLD has done many special studies for NHTSA and FMCSA under its contract work. It has also supported or been a member of teams led by other firms.

KLD was under contract to ICF International, Inc. to support its work for NHTSA on a TPMS study.

Since 2008, all new vehicles have had tire-pressure monitoring systems to alert the driver to low pressure situations, which can lead to safety issues as well as energy inefficiency and tire wear. The auto industry phased in systems from 2004 to 2007 model years.

Today, the systems are either direct TPMS that use wheel sensors to detect and transmit tire pressures or indirect TPMS that use algorithms to deduce tire pressure from comparing vehicle tire rotation and steer angles.

KLD participated in the survey planning and reporting requirements, but its principal focus is the collection of high quality data from drivers at 24 locations throughout the United States on TPMS malfunctioning direct systems, functioning systems, and indirect systems. This is transmitted wirelessly to a central data base located securely in the Cloud that will be used for later analyses by other team members and NHTSA.

As part of its IR&D, KLD had been exploring tablet-based apps for data collection. It used the TPMS need as a case study in this work, and also incorporated NHTSA security standards for data handling and transmission.