GE NovaSensor, a unit of GE Industrial Systems, has announced that it has developed a
low-cost tire-pressure sensor that meets the requirements of the U.S. Congressional TREAD
(Tire Recall Enhanced Accountability and Documentation) Act. After several years of fatal
rollover accidents that were traced to improper tire inflation, the U.S. Congress passed
the TREAD Act to protect the general public. One of the provisions mandates that vehicle
manufacturers develop technology for warning drivers of dangerously low tire pressures.
TREAD Act requires automotive suppliers to start offering remote tire-pressure monitoring
(rtpm) systems in late 2003 with a four-year phase-in period, after which all automobiles
sold in the United States must incorporate such systems. The GE NPX sensor is part of a
next-generation direct-measurement system that places a pressure-sensor module in each of
the tires. A radio frequency links the tire sensors to a dashboard display. This method of
tire-pressure measurement has been shown to be more accurate than competing techniques.
combining a sensor and the compensating electronics in a single package, the NPX is more
compact, with fewer redundant components than other sensors. In addition, an internal
program that can turn off the sensor to conserve power and extend battery life controls the
The GE NPX is said to meet or exceed the U.S. Congressional TREAD Act
specification for accuracy. Look for these in vehicles in about a year.