Geneva Motor Show: Goodyear unveils ‘smart’ concept tyre

Tuesday 7th March 2017 | 0 Comments

The Eagle 360 Urban adapts to changing conditions, adding ‘dimples’ in the wet…
The Eagle 360 Urban adapts to changing conditions, adding ‘dimples’ in the wet…

Another first from Goodyear – following on from the Eagle 360 concept tyre presented a year ago, at this year’s Geneva Motor Show the tyre maker has revealed what it says is the first concept tyre to be powered by artificial intelligence and capable of sensing, deciding, transforming and interacting.

Like its counterpart shown in 2016, the Eagle 360 Urban is a 3D printed sphere. The chief difference is the presence of a ‘brain’. According to Goodyear, this senses road conditions and the surrounding environment in real-time, and also checks its own status, through a network of sensors in its surface. The tyre maker says this captured information is then processed using neural networks trained with deep learning algorithms that enable the tyre to decide what to do and to learn for the future. The artificial intelligence unit also interacts with other vehicles and all elements making up the Internet of Things to share the information captured and the lessons learned from it. The artificial intelligence unit can also transform the Eagle 360 Urban using its own morphing tread and tyre/vehicle interface.

…and smoothing the tread in the dry

…and smoothing the tread in the dry

This transformative ability is aided by a bionic skin. This skin is made from a super-elastic polymer that has, shares Goodyear, a flexibility similar to that of human skin. This extensible outer layer covers a foam-like material that is strong enough to remain flexible despite the weight of a vehicle. This flexibility enables actuator elements beneath the tyre’s surface, components that work like human muscles to change shape with an electrical input, to re-shape individual sections of the tyre’s tread design. In this way, the concept tyre transforms and adapts to changing road and weather conditions, adding ‘dimples’ for wet conditions or smoothing the tread when its dry.

Damage to the bionic skin is detected by sensors in the tread, and the Eagle 360 Urban then rotates to create a different contact patch in order to reduce pressure on the puncture and allow the self-healing process to start. This act of self-healing utilises materials that are specifically designed to flow towards the puncture. They react physically and chemically with each other to form new molecular bonds, closing the puncture.

The Eagle 360 Urban is of course only a concept, however Goodyear foresees that a new generation of tyres based upon the technologies it showcases will create added value for OEM partners and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) providers by maximising uptime and providing proactive maintenance.

The concept tyre has been paired with a concept vehicle. Goodyear invited students from French design school ISD Rubrika to envision and develop a concept vehicle tailor-made for the Eagle 360 Urban. Working closely together with Goodyear’s designers, the students created Vision UMOD, a vehicle for future cities and adapted to the needs of future mobility.

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Category: Product News