Can you imagine tires that you do not need to inflate, that you do not have to worry about controlling the pressure, that they do not prick And that they are also made with sustainable materials? Well, that is the objective of these “covers” that seek to anticipate what the future will be like. And they want them to be on the streets in 2024.
Manufactured by the Michelin brand, in the last Munich Motor Show, in Germany, a prototype wore them and allowed test its operation.
Materials are rubber, aluminum and resin inserted in carbon fiber. It is a rigid but flexible structure, which logically adapts to the irregularities of the road (like a well), but since it does not have air, it has the immense advantage of not being punctured.
They are called Uptis (for Unique Puncture-proof Tire System, which stands for Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System). By 2050, furthermore, they hope that they will be carried out solely with sustainable materials.
Due to their structure, they would also have a longer shelf lifeNot to mention that they would be much safer: when a wheel punctures in speed it causes the loss of control of the vehicle. It is also much more suitable, for example, for intensive use in fleets.
The airless experimental tires they are not new. For years, many firms – such as Bridgestone and Continental, just to mention two – have been working on them and many prototypes are shown.
However, the challenge is that they are usable and, logically, accessible, although it is expected that as they expand their cost will decrease.
In the Munich Hall, the one who “put them on” was a Mini electric, a vehicle conducting a demonstration. Most of the passengers said they did not feel any difference compared to conventional tires, although it remains to be seen how they behave in real conditions such as rain.
There is also talk that in the future they could be printed with 3D technology.
Another important point in working around the tires of the future is the connectivityIn other words, the tires can “inform” the vehicle if they present a problem.