Tyre maker Michelin has launched a new automatic inflation system for commercial vehicle tyres.

Michelin Auto Inflate was launched in the USA this week  and being is promoted as an “easy, wheel-mounted tyre management solution that allows fleets to automatically maintain optimal tyre pressure.”

The system is initially being offered in the North American market, and Michelin North America claims that fleets adopting the system can save an estimated $3,000 per prime mover trailer combination by reducing tyre-related downtime, extending tyre life, improving fuel economy and increasing safety.

“Michelin Auto Inflate is simple, reliable and good for business,” said Adam Murphy, vice-president of marketing at Michelin Americas Truck Tyres.

“Due to a number of complicated factors that cause tyre pressures to change day-to-day and hour-to-hour, maintaining optimal tyre pressure is nearly impossible to achieve manually. Michelin Auto Inflate provides an immediate payback for one of fleets’ biggest assets by eliminating complexity and automatically managing air pressure in the tyres that keep their trucks rolling.”

The Michelin Auto Inflate system is powered by the Halo tyre inflator developed by Aperia Technologies, a company established in 2010 by two Stanford University mechanical engineering graduate students.

“Michelin and Aperia chose to collaborate on Michelin Auto Inflate because of our mutual commitment to bring innovative products and service solutions to fleets with the goal of maximising uptime,” said Josh Carter, co-founder and chief executive officer of Aperia.

“Michelin Auto Inflate, powered by Halo, provides fleets the first simple, reliable, full-vehicle solution to the complex problem of optimal tyre pressure management.”

Michelin Auto Inflate utilises automatic tyre inflation technology to maintain the pressure on drive and trailer tyres. Easy to retrofit on existing vehicles or as an add-on to new equipment, the device works with both duals and wide-base single tyres.

Michelin says the unit’s compact, self-powered pump can be mounted to the hub in ten minutes using standard tools, with no axle drilling required. The device monitors and adjusts for low air pressure with each wheel rotation, and can be factory-set to a specified target tire pressure.

Michelin adds that Auto Inflate can be easily transferred from one vehicle to another.

There is no indication at this stage of if or when the Auto Inflate System could be introduced in Australia