Scandinavian tire brand Nokian has launched SnapSkan—a tire-scanning service that electronically notifies drivers of their tread depth after driving over its scanner, reports Autoblog.

Using technology borrowed from podiatry, the SnapSkan scanner uses lasers to measure tread-depth as a tire rolls over it. Once scanned, the SnapSkan software will interpolate the tire data into three-dimensional images which are later available to the driver.

While driving over the scanner a picture of the vehicle’s licence plate is taken, thus linking the scans to specific vehicles; associated ownership information can then be used by the automated system to notify the owner of the findings.

Based on the amount of wear noted by the scanner, SnapSkan will email or text replacement recommendations to the owner of the vehicle.

Tread depth and tire care is frequently overlooked by most drivers; thus the tire-scanning technology promises increased road safety should it proliferate to all countries.

Scanners could be placed at the exits of car washes, gas stations, and service centres, costing drivers no inconvenience as their tires are scanned.

Nokian rolled out its SnapSkan program mid-December in its homeland of Finland; the company has not yet announced any plans to bring the technology to Canada.