Kelly Boor, general manager of Sensata Technologies Inc.'s global aftermarket business, which includes Schrader-brand tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors, discusses how new technology will impact the aftermarket.
Sensata is a $3.5 billion/year global industrial technology company providing sensing solutions and electrical protection for the automotive, heavy-duty, off-road, industrial and aerospace markets.
What is Schrader working on now and what technologies is it focusing on?
We (OE business) are facing significant discontinuities driven by mega-trends, electrification, safety advancements/autonomy as well as a more digital world. Those trends are impacting all of our end-markets — auto, heavy-duty, industrial, aerospace — in different ways and each of those trends require sensing solutions as part of the overall response to those trend-driven requirements. ...
As vehicles become more electrified, Sensata has invested in developing a portfolio of sensing solutions that meet these technology requirements. It is a similar story with TPMS. Sensata has a portfolio of sensors used in safety applications and has expanded that portfolio (through the Schrader acquisition) to include TPMS. In addition, we have further developed TPMS to address needs beyond auto — i.e. HVOR (heavy vehicle, off road) and the aftermarket.
Tire-pressure-sensing solutions will continue to play a pretty important role in advancing safety, mobility and even energy efficiency and fuel economy. In the case of the heavy-vehicle segment, this segment really does care about total cost of ownership. We think that TPMS can play a role in that. It does now and it will continue even more so in the future. ...
We have market-leading OE positions as well as a strong presence in the aftermarket. That is a great value that Sensata/Schrader brings to the aftermarket — that we have a link to the OE. It gives us a greater insight into what's coming down the pipeline in terms of products and customer needs that the aftermarket will need to address at some point in the future.
Is there more development to come for the TPMS component?
Yes, there will be advancements in the technology itself. We think that the socket has an important role in advancing some of the safety-mobility applications within automotive and even in other end-markets, as well. I do think that there are continued developments, enhancements and more features and data insight that we will be able to give to tire pressure sensing solutions in the future.
Are all these TPMS-sensing capabilities leading to use in autonomous vehicles?
In the case of TPMS, it would continue to play a key role in advancements in safety and mobility as well as continue to have positive benefits towards fuel economy.
Are there other technologies/components you are working on with tire manufacturers?
We are always working on new technology that requires information from the road to the vehicle's systems. That requires not only our own development but also strong partnerships to provide the right solution for our customers. As our sensors grow smarter, we learn that we can measure different things around the tire and provide that information in real-time. We are working to make that information not only available to the vehicle, but through our Smart & Connected initiative, to make it available on the cloud.
How will new technology/components impact the auto repair industry?