Alps Alpine, established in 1948, is a manufacturer of electronic components and automotive information equipment that develops, manufactures, and sells information and communications components used in smartphones and other devices, in-vehicle audio equipment, and information and communications equipment. In addition to sensor development, Alps Alpine has system design and software development capabilities that promise to support synergies in the new tire business model.
Zenrin, founded in 1948 and incorporated in 1961, is a map-information provider that collects and manages diverse data as a platform for knowledge and space-time and provides residential-tract atlases and other maps, cartographic databases, and related content. It possesses an immense store of supplementary information about roadway features, such as routes, inclines, curves, and traffic control, which, in combination with the tire sensor, contributes to achieving high precision in the system.
In 2004, Yokohama Rubber became the first tire maker in Japan to develop a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) for passenger cars. Sales of the system, dubbed “AIR watch”, began on a limited basis in 2005. “Air watch” received a Good Design Award in 2004, and in 2006 it was named a winner in the “Functional Goods & Accessories” section of the “Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun Car Accessory Awards 2006” sponsored by the automobile industry newspaper the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (English version is the Japan Automotive Daily). In addition, since 2003, Yokohama Rubber has been selling its HiTES system as a TPMS to transportation and transport companies that require strict tire management to ensure that their trucks and buses operate more safely with greater running efficiency and lower fuel consumption that helps protect our environment. Linking tire operation history and other vehicle data with Yokohama Rubber’s tire management system (TMS) will enable users to analyze vehicle operation trends and receive notification of the proper timing for tire inspection, thereby raising their comprehensive vehicle operation management to a new level and promoting the use of retread tires.