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SnapSkan speed bumps will scan your tires, tell you when they're bald

Way too many drivers are unaware of the condition of their tires. That’s a major problem because degraded tires with low tread depth makes a car far more prone to aquaplaning, while also increasing its braking distance — making it more dangerous for both the driver and other road users alike.

That’s a problem that Finnish tire company Nokian is trying to solve. Together with car service chain Vianor, it’s developed a smart new service that uses laser-scanning 3D technology to measure the tread depth of car tires. It’ll even SMS you a free report.

“The ultimate goal of the service is to make roads safer for everyone,” Ville Nikkola, Nokian’s head of retail business, told Digital Trends. “Once the drivers know the condition of their tires and understand better the relation between tire condition and road safety we are able to influence road safety more than ever before.”

Currently one of Nokian’s speed bump-style SnapSkan units has been fitted at an undercard car park in Helsinki. Others are set to follow in similarly high traffic areas. As drivers (not just Nokian customers) pass over them, the SnapSkan units automatically measure tire tread, while a camera will records the car license plate. If the driver then requests information via a free text message, Nokian sends out a report — plus a quote for new tires from a nearby dealership if required.

It’s a great way of drumming up business, while also offering a genuinely useful public service.

“We have paid a lot of attention to create [a] unique, meaningful and understandable way to communicate the scanning results and to tell what it really means in practice,” Nikkola continued.

Don’t worry if you don’t live in Finland, either, as there is every chance that the SnapSkan technology will roll out elsewhere before too long. “At the moment we are analyzing the demand and potential in all core markets of Nokian and we are preparing the global execution plans early next [year],” Nikkola said.

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