At Kal Tire, we are seeking a new technology or methodology to deploy in our 260 stores that will help inform our customers about the health and condition of their tires. Submit your idea for how we can measure tire tread depth in a way that is faster, more accurate and easier to implement than the status quo!
Tires bear the grip and friction force between a vehicle and the ground. Worn tires will result in slippage, a longer braking distance, and even flat tires, which could possibly result in a driving accident. As such, legislators all over the world have defined a minimum tire tread depth for safe driving. Drivers can rely on tread wear indicators on a tire’s grooves for a quick at-home tire check. Additionally, drivers can have a technician assess tire wear at a local shop during a routine maintenance visit. However, existing methods of tire tread depth measurement are slow, manual, or often imprecise.
Your job is to propose a method of measuring tire tread depth that is fast, accurate, and easy to implement.
How is Tire Tread Depth Measured Today?
Digital Tire Gauge Meter
Consumers today are able to purchase off-the-shelf gauges to measure tire tread wear for as little as $20. Such tools are simple to use, allowing the user to hold the gauge to the surface of the tire and get a digital reading in +/-30 seconds. While this is a convenient at-home option, there is potential for user error in measurement or reading. Additionally, the results from these readings do not accurately convey the tire tread wear pattern across the entire tire, therefore leaving out critical data necessary to make a determination of tire rotation or replacement.
Engineers and innovators have noticed the same problems we have. As a result, more technologically advanced gauges have entered the market, leveraging laser technology to collect tire tread data.
Hand Held Laser + Smartphone Application
The most advanced method of tire tread depth measurement available today relies on laser scanning technology. This system includes a scanner and smartphone that fit into the palm of a user. A technician obtains tread depth data by moving his hand, while holding the scanner over a tire profile. The scanner uploads the data to a server for determination of tread depth, tire wear pattern and wheel alignment. The tire tread analysis is downloaded and reported to the technician via a smartphone. Wear and analysis results are forwarded for exporting and printing the entire report to guide conversations with the customer.
Unfortunately, although certainly a step in the right direction on accuracy and sophistication of the quality of data collected, this option is expensive and lacks straightforward implementation plans for us to deploy in our stores. We are seeking a solution that can fill all of these gaps, and become the next tire tread measurement tool to be deployed.
What Does the Ideal Solution Look Like?
We are seeking a tire tread measurement solution that will free up the time of our technicians, only taking 15-seconds or less to collect all necessary tire data on 1 tire with as little of the process requiring manual work as possible. Because we have locations all across Canada, and operate 365 days a year, tire data must be able to be collected in a variety of lighting and environmental conditions. Finally, all measurements must be captured within a sub 1 millimeter level of accuracy.
Note: Competitors are not responsible for analyzing whether the tire tread data results in a rotation, replacement, or rebalance. That’s our job!
About Kal Tire
Kal Tire is Canada’s largest independent tire dealer and one of North America’s largest commercial tire dealers. Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group is a global leader in mining tire service and supply, servicing more than 150 mine sites across five continents. The company has warehouse facilities strategically located across Canada servicing over 260 Kal Tire retail and commercial stores. Kal Tire owns and operates five earthmover retreading facilities located in Canada, the United Kingdom, West Africa and Chile.
Founded by Tom Foord in 1953, and based in Vernon, BC, Kal Tire has expanded steadily and now employs more than 6,500 team members internationally.
To learn more about Kal Tire, visit us at https://www.kaltire.com/
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