Nokian campaign scans tires at drive-through car wash

The drive-over scanner used by Nokian’s SnapSkan. | © Nokian

Smart Nokian campaign scans tires at drive-through car wash

Reminding motorists it’s time to get new tires can be a battle but in Europe, Nokian Tyres has come up with a clever way to give customers a nudge.

The company has teamed up with tire and service chain Vianor to create SnapSkan — a tire monitoring service that measures tread depth quickly and efficiently using 3D scanning technology. The genius is that the drive-over scanners are designed to be installed along drivers’ everyday routes — such as parking lots and service centers — and do not require separate equipment to be installed on the vehicle. Take a look at it in operation in this video, which shows SnapSkan installed in a car wash — although the units can be installed anywhere.

As you can see, the automated drive-over scanner reads the tires while a camera identifies the vehicle based on its registration number. When the scan is complete, the driver can opt to receive a personal tire report by text message or email — free of charge — regardless of which manufacturer’s tires are fitted to the car.

The technical solution was developed in collaboration with Finnish technology partners Futurice and Affecto. The entire service is enabled by unique 3D scanning technology patented by British Sigmavision.

Ville Nikkola, head of Vianor’s retail business area, said too many motorists were unaware of the condition of their tires and the threshold for replacing tires seemed to be high.

Time for the tire industry to modernize

“We want to use this new technology to raise drivers’ awareness of the condition of their tires by making it as easy to access as possible,” he said.

Nokian’s plan with SnapSkan is to promote road safety to millions of people around the world in a quick, hassle-free way.

Nokian president and chief executive Ari Lehtoranta said it was time for the tire industry to change.

“Until now, the tire sector has lagged clearly behind other industries in terms of digitalization,” he said. “It is high time to harness technology to serve motorists with regard to their tires. The sector needs a bold forerunner.”

The first SnapSkan scanning point will be installed in an underground parking garage in Helsinki, Finland. In the near future, scanning points will be rolled out elsewhere in Finland. The service will also be introduced in several other countries in the coming years.

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