Although it won't be in the hands of customers until sometime in 2012, TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has announced the development of a new remote entry key fob that adds tire-pressure monitoring capability to its existing functions. First use of the device will be in a 2013 model manufactured by a yet-unnamed automaker.

According to Martin Thoone, vice president, TRW Global Electronics Engineering, integrating these two currently separate functions yields a number of tangible benefits, starting with simplifying the electronics architecture by eliminating the need for separate receivers for each system. "We can maintain the performance characteristics while using less space and reducing system weight and wiring complexity, leading to lower material and assembly costs."

Thoone says users of this enhanced new fob won't see any notable change to either its look or performance. All commands will be sent to a single smart receiver/ECU that will process the traditional information elements as well as temperature and pressure signals from TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) transmitters located in each individual tire. According to the TRW release, it will then provide the driver with tire-pressure warning information in the same way as conventional TPMS receivers.

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