Sunday, December 21, 2008

Retractable Studs

Retractable Studs

I found myself thinking last winter, "You know, someone should make studded tires where you can control whether the studs come out or not--maybe based on tire pressure." A few weeks ago, I read that tire companies were experimenting with retractable studded tires. And here's a company that is going to have them out real soon.

Because their technology uses a wireless remote, it means that you can retract them or extend them without getting out of car--and there's no need to take them when winter ends. This looks like a very good idea--but the next step will be when someone figures out how to make the ABS or 4WD system tell the wireless remote, "We're beginning to get slippery road surfaces--put the studs out."

I suspect that most of the time, you get at least a second or two warning that the surface is changing from snow to ice, because at least one wheel is going to be on ice first, and start slipping. Having the system extend the studs as soon as slipping starts means that by the time you are on full ice, the studs are out.

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