Tyres have always had a good
grip on the road for all kinds of vehicles. Now they can do much more than
gripping the road and making your ride safe. Two concept tyres shown by The
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show
could radically change the role of car tyres in the future. These come with
some very innovative technology.
The first concept – named
“BHO3” – offers the possibility of charging the batteries of electric cars by
transforming the heat generated by the rolling tyre into electrical energy. The
second concept – named “Triple Tube” – contains three tubes that adjust tyre inflation
pressure in response to changing road conditions, delivering new levels of
performance and versatility.
“These concept tyres re-imagine
the role that tyres may play in the future,” said Joe Zekoski, Goodyear’s
senior vice president and chief technical officer, adding that “We envision a
future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the
consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile.”
The BHO3 tyre generates
electricity through the action of materials in the tyre that capture and
transform the energy created by heat when it flexes as it rolls during normal
driving conditions. The materials used would optimise the tyre’s electricity
generation capabilities as well as its rolling resistance. As
demand for electric cars grows, this technology has the potential to
significantly contribute to the solution of future mobility challenges. This
visionary tyre technology could eliminate the vehicle-range anxiety motorists
may have with electric cars.
As for the Triple Tube tyre,
it features three internal tubes within the tyre. Tubes are located beneath the
tread and near the inboard and outboard shoulders of the tyre as well as the
centre. The tyre relies on an internal pump that moves air from the main air
chamber to the three individual air chambers, or tubes. The tyre automatically
adjusts – on its own – to three different positions based on road conditions.
• The Eco/Safety position –
with maximum inflation in all three tubes – offers reduced rolling resistance.
• The Sporty position – with
reduced inflation within the inboard shoulder tube – gives drivers dry handling
through an optimised contact patch.
•The Wet Traction position –
with maximised inflation in the centre tube – provides high aquaplaning
resistance through a raised tread in the centre of the tyre.
Although these tyres are future
concepts, Zekoski said they represent an essential aspect of Goodyear’s
innovation strategy, instilling a forward-looking, market-back mindset in the
company’s research and development teams.
“It is more important than
ever for us to stay firmly rooted in our market-back innovation process, which
calls on us to focus on, and anticipate, the rapidly evolving needs of our
customers,” said Zekoski.
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