We are entering a new era with the vehicle: heavy-duty electric vehicles, car-sharing services, self-driving cars, and new cars delivered without spare wheels or winches to save weight, consumption and emissions. To meet these challenges, Goodyear is now developing a new airless tire.
Michael Racchetta is president of the Goodyear program to develop airless tires. He believes that tires with air will always be available, but those tires without air will be able to solve some of the challenges that the transportation sector will face in the coming years:
We are on our way to a world where self-driving vehicles are becoming more and more common. In addition, car sharing and dredging schemes with different types of cars are constantly evolving. Then maintenance-free tires become increasingly important. On tires without air, it is not necessary to check the air pressure. This eliminates, among other things, the problem of increased wear due to incorrect pressure, making the tire last longer. Our new tire is also designed so that you can continue driving even after a puncture-causing accident, Racchetta explains in a press release.
Modern cars have cameras, lidar, radar, and GPS that control all the new security systems. If one of these systems fails, another system will take over to ensure that the vehicle can operate optimally. When a flat tire is punctured, you usually have to call for help and the vehicle is taken to a workshop to get a new tire.
– The airless tire, as we are now developing, has these additional safety measures. The core of the frame is made up of an interlocking mesh which means the frame can still run as normal, even if something happens, Racchetta says.
note. Goodyear isn’t alone in developing airless tires. In 2019, the tire manufacturer Michelin presented its concept already in production:
He says that their tests also show that this tire also provides better driving comfort:
Passenger comfort is important. Although many people think that empty tires will make driving more inconvenient, in reality it is the opposite. Comfort is one area where airless tires have an advantage. Racchetta claims you can have heavier loads and still feel more comfortable than you get with air-filled tires.
Will it be expensive?
Right now, Goodyear doesn’t say anything about when these tires might become commonly available for passenger cars. It is used today in some construction machinery. The testing is done in the real world now, but it will be a few years before I can buy the frame at the store. This is part of Goodyear’s goal to produce completely maintenance-free tires from 100% sustainable materials and bring them to market by 2030.
The price of this tire doesn’t say anything about the factory now either. If you get a lot of good features, it can definitely be expensive.
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