May 13, 2013, Updated May 21, 2013

Trucks will be a lot safer and more environmentally friendly by the end of this year thanks to the Israeli company Neomatix, which has developed a device to check tire pressure remotely.

Created by an aerospace engineer, the Neomatix Optimus works when trucks go to park for the night, taking the “pressure” off fleet managers.

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Improperly inflated tires waste energy, wear down tire treads and are a safety hazard, says Kfir Wittmann, a co-founder and the CEO of Neomatix.

“Driving with properly inflated tires is good for the environment, it’s good for your car and it can save your life,” Wittmann tells ISRAEL21c. Yet people tend to neglect the time-consuming check.

“Why are people driving like that? Knowledge is a big part of it and most people just don’t know about the meaning of well-inflated tires. But it really makes a difference on driving performance considering today that the price of oil is more than $100 a barrel.”

Years of experience in the Israeli Air Force gave him the wherewithal to meet the need of a big problem in the United States and Israel, as well as in developing countries where tire-pressure checking systems are prohibitively expensive.

Wittmann’s solution, developed with private funds and the Tel Aviv Angel Group, can provide a fleet manager of 50 trucks a return on investment within a year.

Optimus will most likely look like a ticket stand found at the entrance to most parking lots. While the truck driver is passing through the gate to park at night, the Optimus system will scan the truck’s wheels using computer vision, and report findings in real time to the fleet manager.

“We take the driver out of the equation,” says Wittmann.

While scanning the tires from the outside, rather than the inside, might be less accurate, Wittmann says precise accuracy is not really necessary.

Co-founder Kfir Wittmann: “Driving with properly inflated tires is good for the environment, it’s good for your car and it can save your life.”
Co-founder Kfir Wittmann: “Driving with properly inflated tires is good for the environment, it’s good for your car and it can save your life.”

“A fleet manager wouldn’t need to know if the tires are 34 or 35 PSI. But if it’s at 30, you want to know about it,” he explains.

The smart system will figure in the weight of each truck, the type and age of the wheels, and the ambient air temperature outside, along with other parameters.

“This is a solution we hope will be widespread and used by every driver, because it can save money as well as improve driving safety,” he notes.

An app for cars

Neomatix currently employs four people and is based out of Tel Aviv. Marketing in Israel is expected to begin by December this year, followed by the United States and developing countries.

“China and Brazil first, because there are no [tire pressure] regulations there and they can save a lot of money and improve safety.”

Neomatix also released an app for iPhones that can test pressure in car tires. After sorting out some bugs in the first release of the TireCheck app released last October, Neomatix will put out a second version by the end of May.

The TireCheck app is designed so that people can check their tire pressure anywhere. It’s easy and fun enough for children to use, says Wittmann.

The app uses the phone’s camera, which “scans” the tire, looking at the shape of it to estimate the tire pressure.

“You just point the device, scan your tires and you get an answer if you’re under-inflated or not, where the nearest location to inflate your tires is, and how much pressure you need to inflate them,” says Wittmann, noting that the app will be available in Android and in the Apple store.

“Education about tire pressure also promotes good driving behavior,” he adds.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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