#95: Tyre distortion monitor
Vehicles with the wrong tyre pressures endanger everybody. Maintaining the optimal set of working pressures to ensure reliable braking is both quite complex and a real pain. It’s hard for the average driver to sense when they need to go and crouch in the rain with that filthy airline (that costs money) -and of course no-one wants to.
Today’s invention addresses only one part of this composite problem: the issue of unbalanced tyre pressures.
Two cameras (with low-voltage illumination), or perhaps one camera + one mirror, would be located in advance of each fuel pump at service stations. They would automatically grab an image of each wheel as a vehicle passes. These images would be linked to the correct vehicle by taking into account the timing of their transits past the camera…without any need to worry about precise spatial alignment of anything).
It’s comparatively easy to find the (high-contrast, rotationally-symmetric) shape of a wheel within a tyre using image processing. This would allow the height of each wheel above the forecourt to be precisely compared. It would also be possible to quickly superimpose all four tyre outlines for any signs of comparative distortion (due to load maldistribution, for example).
Significant differences in contact pressure with the road could thus be detected and a message displayed at the pump in time for the driver to do something about it before driving off.