Self-driving car, sophisticated electronics and coding in vehicles, Tesla – all amazing innovations and technologies, but what about the good old tire?
The tire has been black and round since they first pneumatic tires from Michelin hit the roads of France and England in 1895. More than 120 years later, the future might be spherical tires!
Goodyear has presented at this years Geneva International Motorshow a visionary concept tire – the ball-shaped Goodyear Eagle 360! I can even be produced on a 3D printer.
Goodyear says the tire has larger contact patch with the ground, allowing for more control.
“Our concept tire provides a platform for creative ideas and innovations. At the same time it serves as a testing ground for new technologies,” says Joseph Zekoski, Technical Director at Goodyear. Priorities in developing the new release were higher security and connectivity as well as improved handling characteristics.
“Because the driver in the autonomous car of the future will have fewer and fewer opportunities to intervene in the driving, the tires will become a more and more important link between the vehicle and the road.”
The spherical shape of the Eagle-360 improves especially the driving safety because the vehicle leave maneuver in all directions. Sensors inside the tire detect the current weather conditions and road conditions, which may pass it on to the vehicle, but also to other cars.
Moreover, the spherical shape of the Eagle – 360 could make tricky parking easy, because the vehicle could theoretically turn in place 360 degrees. Of course sensor technology ensures the continuous monitoring of tire pressure and tread wear. It could send a notification to the mechanic to pre-order the new tires for the next service.
For the connection of your car and tires Goodyear sets in its concept tires to the magnetic levitation technology. The tire is isolated by magnetic fields from the vehicle, improving the comfort for the passengers, and the noise is also reduced.
Another innovation which is expected to hit the market within 5 years is the IntelliGrip, which was developed with a sensor specialist Huf. The Goodyear IntelliGrip concept tire is designed to communicate with autonomous vehicle control systems, sensing road surface and weather conditions for improved driving safety and performance. It can detect over a specially designed profile, different road surfaces and weather conditions and inform the driver.
And this is what the IntelliGrip can do:
- Senses road conditions: Thanks to its advanced sensor technology and specially designed tread, the concept tire can sense many road conditions, including both surface and weather conditions.
- Active-wear technology: The IntelliGrip also uses advanced active wear technology to assess the condition of the tire and the vehicle.
- Custom algorithms: Goodyear-developed algorithms account for variables such as inflation pressure and tire temperature.
- Adapting to road conditions: When the tire senses a rainy or slippery road surface, the autonomous vehicle will adapt its speed. Additionally, the tire can shorten the stopping distance, provide a better cornering response, optimize stability and even support collision prevention systems.
- Technology adaption: Goodyear is working with a number of vehicle manufacturers to further adapt this technology to their needs, enhancing connectivity with features such as Electronic Stability Control Systems, Brake Control Systems and Suspension Control Systems.
Sources: Welt PS Motorwelt, Goodyear.com, Image: Yahoo