Dunlop and the End of the Spare Wheel
At the beginning of October Dunlop GmbH (Hanau) invited trade journalists and vehicle manufacturers’ OE managers to a demonstration, “Dunlop ’99: Innovations in the Interest of Safety and Mobility” at Trier, or rather at the company’s own test track at Wittlich. The main aim of the event was to convince that it was high time to get rid of the spare wheel. People’s attitudes cannot be changed overnight; a lot of thinking is required about how to live in future without this “fifth wheel on the car” and yet remain mobile in a vehicle that has just had a puncture.
Dunlop claims to have developed a “forward-looking safety and mobility concept”, consisting of several different components grouped together: a self-supporting tyre (“DSST” = Dunlop Self Supporting Technology), an integrated tyre pressure monitor called “Warnair”, and an equivalent system for the replacement market developed in cooperation with the Italian Alltech Car Security Systems company plus a tyre sealant “Fill & Go” on the basis of IMS (“Instant Mobility System”). In the next few years the company will introduce the practical application of each of these components on different vehicle models – Dunlop can already claim partial successes. For example, the increasing numbers of “IMS” applications have prompted the tyre manufacturer to speak of a “breakthrough”, but the company is realistic enough to know that in the case of the “DSST” tyre series a similar success can only be had through original equipment.