SOUTHFIELD, MI /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lear Corp. announced that it has signed a license agreement with Transense Technologies plc to integrate Transense's batteryless tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) technology with Lear's remote keyless entry (RKE) receiver technology. Financial terms were not disclosed, and Lear's agreement with Transense does not affect an existing joint development agreement Lear has with Beru for TPMS.
Under terms of the agreement, Lear and Transense will work closely together to integrate Transense's batteryless surface acoustic wave (SAW) TPMS technology with Lear's remote keyless entry receiver technology. The two companies have recently worked together on the development of two functional North American vehicle prototypes equipped with the batteryless Transense TPM systems.
"Lear is a world leader in RKE technology, as well as a significant provider of TPM systems to the automotive market," said Mike Fawaz, vice president of electronics design and development for Lear Corp. "Transense's SAW-based sensor technology is a game changer and will advance the next-generation system to meet government regulations in a more environmentally friendly manner, satisfying customer and consumer needs."
The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) ACT mandates the use of a suitable TPM technology in all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. to alert drivers of severe under inflation condition of their tires. This regulation affects all light motor vehicles registered after September 1, 2007, with phase-in commencing in October 2005 at 20% and ramping up to 70% after September of this year. Additionally, European and Asian regulators are also expected to rule on the subject even if no signs of legislative activity are forecasted in the near future.
A typical TPM system uses four or five transmitter-sensors, an RF receiver, and other satellite hardware that can identify the position of the tire that is improperly inflated. The current systems use a lithium battery in the tire to power the sensor, which has a limited lifespan of ten years and requires special handling related to disposal of the batteries.
"The new TPM system will provide several benefits, including battery elimination, lower weight, and superior functional performance at a competitive price," said Jim Perry, chief executive officer of Transense. "By combining our leading technologies, we can create an industry standard for TPMS that improves product functionality and recyclability."
Lear Corp. is one of the world's largest suppliers of automotive interior systems and components. Lear provides complete seat systems, electronic products and electrical distribution systems, and other interior products. With annual net sales of $17.1 billion in 2005, Lear ranks number 127 among the Fortune 500. The company's world-class products are designed, engineered, and manufactured by a diverse team of 115,000 employees at 282 locations in 34 countries. Lear's headquarters are in Southfield, MI, and Lear is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol [LEA]. Further information about Lear is available on the Internet at the company's Web site.
Transense Technologies is a technology transfer company that develops surface acoustic wave (SAW), wireless, batteryless, sensor systems for the automotive industry. Current applications include tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) and torque systems for electrical power assisted steering (EPAS) and driveline management. Transense is listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange [TRT]. Further information on Transense can be found on the Internet at the company's Web site.