Tesla Wins Patent for Automatic Tire Inflation System for its Semi Truck


Photo: U.S. Patent Office (via electrek)

Although Tesla Semi‘s production isn’t set to take place for quite some time, the automaker was recently granted a new patent for the electric semi-truck — self-inflating tires.

Tesla was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday for an automatically-inflating tire for the Tesla Semi, according to electrek.

Vehicles such as heavy-load trucks and military vehicles commonly use Automatic Tire Inflation Systems (ATIS) to help displace tire pressure correctly to make driving possible on uneven terrains.

However, in its patent application, Tesla criticizes the way current systems with the technology work, saying they were prone to “leakage and contaminants,” and instead suggesting its own variant of the system.

In the patent filing, Tesla wrote, “An Automatic Tire Inflation System (ATIS) for use with a vehicle according to a first described embodiment includes a controller, valves controlled by the controller, the valves having an air supply inlet, and a plurality of air outlets. Further the ATIS includes, for at least one drive axle having inner bearings and outer bearings, a channel formed in a spindle, first hosing coupling a valve of the valves controlled by the controller to the channel formed in the spindle, a channel formed in a hub, a rotary air seal residing between the inner bearings and the outer bearings and 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.”

It’s not unheard of for patents granted to not end up in commercial production, although the benefits of Tesla’s ATIS system seem like a no-brainer for the upcoming Tesla Semi.