In the ongoing quest for improved motor vehicle safety, Microsoft and Bridgestone are developing a new system that monitors tire damage in real time, using that data to warn about unsafe road conditions.

Engadget says the new real-time Tire Damage Monitoring System (TDMS) is based on two previous bits of technology: standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensors and Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform software (MCVP).

Most motorists are familiar with TPMS, as modern cars are usually equipped with the feature, as well as more and more new motorbikes. Basically, a sensor (either internal, or external) detects when the tire is losing air pressure, and warns the driver by a dashboard dummy light or some other cue. As for Microsoft’s onboard software, MCVP was developed to make motorists more productive, by cramming in features like Skype, Cortana and Office 365, ensuring drivers have nowhere to hide from their to-do list, or their bosses. MCVP is also designed to help fleet managers keep on top of maintenance. It doesn’t actually perform any functional tasks necessary for driving, but helps manage the car’s maintenance, and manage its driver.

Now, the Microsoft software is being configured to analyze data from TPMS sensors, to determine tire damage in real time. This is intended to go beyond simple pressure loss, and to also assess damage to the tire’s tread and sidewalls. This allows drivers and fleet managers to notice issues without having to remove the tire for inspection. As well, the MCVP software will record which road section saw the damage occur, alerting drivers, fleet managers or road maintenance workers as to potential problems.

It should make the roads safer, but for now, the real-time tire damage monitoring system is only available for four-wheeled vehicles, far as we’ve heard. Don’t be surprised if Bosch comes out with an equivalent in the next few years, though. If anyone can figure out how to fit a similar system to bikes, it’s Bosch.

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