The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a Tesla patent, dated February 22, 2022, for a Class 8 truck. According to the abstract, Tesla’s latest patent is for an Automatic Tire Inflation System (ATIS).
Proper tire inflation pressure is essential when operating a commercial vehicle as it can affect fuel efficiency and increase tire wear. As per the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, a 0.5-1.0% increase in fuel consumption is seen in commercial vehicles with tires underinflated by 10 psi. Ensuring a commercial vehicle has properly inflated tires also decreases the chances of roadside breakdowns related to tire failures.
In the case of the Tesla Semi, fuel is not really an issue, but efficiency is still important. Tesla’s recent patent reveals it is working on an automatic tire inflation system (ATIS), which can overcome one or more causes of tire underinflation in commercial vehicles. Automatic tire inflation systems can monitor tire inflation pressure through a pre-set value and re-inflate tires whenever the vehicle is below the target level.
The abstract of Tesla’s Automatic Tire Inflation System patent states:
“An Automatic Tire Inflation System (ATIS) for use with a vehicle includes a controller, valves controlled by the controller and, for at least one drive axle having inner bearings and outer bearings, a channel formed in a spindle, first hosing coupling controlled by the controller to the channel formed in the spindle, a channel formed in a hub, a rotary air seal coupling the channel formed in the spindle to the channel formed in the hub, and second hosing coupling the channel formed in the hub to at least one wheel. The rotary air seal may transition from a sealed state that forms a seal between the spindle and the hub to support air flow between the channel formed in the spindle and the channel formed in hub and reside in an unsealed state to negate the seal between the spindle and the hub.”
While full Tesla Semi production has not yet started, some of the company’s customers are already making active preparations for the all-electric Class 8 truck. In PepsiCo’s case, the food and beverage company has already prepared the first Megacharger stations for its Tesla Semi fleet at its Modesto, California location.
Read Tesla’s ATIS patent below.