Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Remote Tire Pressure Sensing System for Increased Fuel Efficiency(ST10379-1)

PAR Government Systems Corporation


Fuel efficiency is a major concern of the transportation industry. There are approximately 6,000,000 over-the-road (OTR) dry and refrigerated truck trailers in North America, as well as 750, 000 intermodal chassis. Increased fuel economy would result in a significant cost savings. Under-inflated tires are one known cause of excessive fuel consumption. Statistical estimates performed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) indicate that as much as one billion gallons of fuel (.06% of the total fuel expended) are needlessly consumed each year in the US as a result of inadequate tire pressure. Additional bi-products of low tire pressure include increased tire wear, reduced tire life and increased road call assistance. Industry statistics indicate that one-third of all trucks and chassis have at least one tire that is under inflated 8 pounds per square inch (psi) or more below the recommended level. Manually monitoring and maintaining tire pressure is labor and time intensive. For an 18- wheeled vehicle, this process can take from 20 to 30 minutes, assuming that all tires are checked and two or three tires need attention. To perform this task once each week on every tractor and trailer becomes a challenge for many fleet operators. As a result, tires are often improperly inflated. It is estimated that 7% of all tires are under inflated by 20 psi or more, and that only 44% of all tires are within ±5 psi of their target pressure.

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Project Description

The research project will add tire pressure monitoring functionality to the existing Cargo*Watch® platform in a variety of over-the-road environments for the purpose of monitoring tire pressure as it effects fuel efficiency. The Cargo*Watch® system has been advancing towards commercial viability over the past several years. This platform is able to provide information visibility concerning location, trailer status, temperature, alarms and fuel consumption. The ultimate goal is to improve operational efficiency, while providing operational data for improved logistical control. The Contractor has developed and marketed commercial offerings for intermodal chassis, containers, generator sets and over-the-road trailers, both dry and refrigerated. Over the past ten years, the Contractor has developed the Cargo*Watch® system to track freight as it is transported via the intermodal supply chain. Transportation assets equipped with the Cargo*Watch® tracking devices transmit instantaneous location and status data utilizing global positioning system (GPS) satellite, internet, and cellular communications. Built upon a communications platform and housed in a single, rugged module, Cargo*Watch® units easily attach to any trailer or chassis. The system acquires and transmits vital status and location data in real time to the Contractor’s Operations Center in Yorkville, New York where the data is translated into a useable format and made available.


Fuel efficiency is a major concern of the transportation industry. There are approximately 6,000,000 OTR dry and refrigerated truck trailers in North America, as well as 750, 000 intermodal chassis. Industry experts state that as tire pressure decreases, tire drag/rolling resistance increases. This increased drag requires additional horsepower to maintain a given speed. The direct effect of the increase in required horsepower is a decrease in fuel efficiency. National studies estimate that proper inflation of OTR trailers and intermodal chassis tires would yield between 2% and 10% increased fuel efficiencies for industry stakeholders. This would have a significant impact upon the estimated one billion gallons of excess fuel consumed in the US each year that is attributed to inadequate tire pressure.

Project Results


PAR Government Systems Corporation
421 Ridge Street
Rome, NY 13440

Principle Investigator

John Sammon

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Med/Heavy Duty

NYSERDA Contact Information

Joseph Tario


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10379-1

Last Updated: 9/30/2014