Two groundbreaking concept tires unveiled by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company this week could radically change the role of car tires in the future.
Though the two tires are concept products, the futuristic technologies stretch the imagination and provide a glimpse of what practical innovations may be on the horizon.
The first concept - named "BHO3" - offers the possibility of charging the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated by the rolling tire into electrical energy. The second concept - named "Triple Tube" - contains three tubes that adjust tire inflation pressure in response to changing road conditions, delivering new levels of performance and versatility.
"These concept tires reimagine the role that tires may play in the future," said Joe Zekoski, Goodyear's senior vice president and chief technical officer. "We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile."
Additional details on the two concept tires:
This tire generates electricity through the action of materials in the tire that capture and transform the energy created by heat when it flexes as it rolls during normal driving conditions. The materials used would optimize the tire'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 tire technology could eliminate the vehicle-range anxiety motorists may have with electric cars.
To be more precise, The tyre has also been designed to be 'ultra-black' to absorb as much heat as possible. When being driven, the friction between the tyre and the road as well as the 'squeezing' and movement of the piezoelectric material as it rolls generates a small electric voltage. This electricity is captured and directed to the car's battery to charge it as it moves.
'This 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,' explained Goodyear.'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.'
This tire features three internal tubes within the tire. Tubes are located beneath the tread and near the inboard and outboard shoulders of the tire as well as the center. The tire relies on an internal pump that moves air from the main air chamber to the three individual air chambers, or tubes. The tire 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 optimized contact patch.
- The Wet Traction position - with maximized inflation in the center tube - provides high aquaplaning resistance through a raised tread in the center of the tire.
Although these tires are future concepts, Zekoski says 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.