WASHINGTON—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that it is "technologically feasible" for tire makers to include electronic tire identification data in new tires. The agency also noted that it likely will require additional industry effort and possible regulatory action to ensure the use of a single type of technology and standard information format.
The findings are included in a report to Congress, "Electronic Tire Identification Study," and are based on data gathered over the past three-plus years, since the passage of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act in December 2015.
NHTSA's study identified two technologies in use for tire electronic identification—RFID (radio frequency identification) tags and 2D barcodes—and found that either or both of these technologies could be used to implement electronic Tire Identification Number information on all new tires.
RFID and 2D each have advantages and disadvantages, NHTSA said in its executive summary, noting the differences between the two technologies will have to be thoroughly studied to determine whether either or both should be used in tire IDs.
While the technologies identified have the ability to accomplish electronic tire identification, NHTSA said, it was unable to determine the long-term durability of these technologies.
The most efficient way to provide tire identification would be to include the TIN in the electronic identification tag, according to the study.
"Current electronic identification technologies do not follow the same format," it said. "However, if the use of multiple identification technologies is desired as opposed to focusing on a single technology, it is believed that a consistent format could be achieved by modifying the content format for one of the technologies to match that of the other."
The agency added it did not perform a full cost/benefit analysis of implementing this solution.
To come up with its recommendations, NHTSA held meetings with a variety of potentially affected parties, including:
- Tire Industry Association;
- U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (with representatives of Bridgestone AMericas Tire Operations; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Goodyear; Michelin North America Inc.; and Toyo Tire Corp. present);
- Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers;
- Safety Research & Strategies Inc.;
- 4Jet Technologies G.m.b.H.; and
- CARFAX Inc.