TPMS - The Beginnings

In the early 1990s, Schrader was developing the first-generation of sensing technology that measured pressure and temperature in automotive tires. By 1993, Schrader filed for the first patent surrounding TPMS and on February 4, 1997, Schrader inventor Jerry Robinson was granted Patent #5,600,301 as “Remote Tire Pressure Monitoring System Employing Coded Tire Identification and Radio Frequency Transmission, and Enabling Recalibration upon Tire Rotation or Replacement.” The first production vehicles installed with Schrader TPMS technology occurred in 1997, with the Chevrolet® C5 Corvette and Prowler platforms. New bolt-on TPMS innovations followed such as the Schrader “snap-in” valve type for TPMS (Schrader inventor Frank Banzhof received US Patent #6,005,480 on December 21, 1999). Building on the company’s success, in 1999 Schrader equipped the Renault® Laguna with 100 percent TPMS-fitment, resulting in the first high-volume production of a TPMS enabled vehicle. Additional automotive manufacturers followed; however, the next major milestone was the TREAD legislation that spurred TPMS adoption in the United States, beginning in the early 2000s.