A name still unfamiliar to many, The Smart Tire Company (STC) is commercialising NASA’s non-pneumatic tyre technology. It is working with vehicle manufacturers to produce shape memory alloy tyres for cars and has launched a second generation of its airless bicycle tyre. In addition to developing products for use here on Earth, STC intends to send tyres to the Moon as part of NASA’s Project Artemis.
Nearly 50 DHL Express vans will begin running on the Michelin Uptis airless tyre to make last-mile deliveries in Singapore by the end of 2023. The pilot programme begins with the first vehicles making delivery trips from 10 January.
After picking the brains of 2,000 motorists in a YouGov commissioned survey, Bridgestone discovered that just eight per cent of respondents know the differences between tyres tailored for electric vehicles (EVs) and standard tyres. It has thus decided to educate motorists on the benefits – including financial – of these specialised tyres.
Hankook Tire is unveiling three products at The Tire Cologne later this month, including its first tyre family designed for electric vehicles. Other newcomers include the latest winter tyre range as well as an airless concept tyre. The tyre maker invites visitors to the show to view these and other products at its booth in Hall 8.1, aisle C040/aisle D049.
Tyres are an essential part of mobility, but are their days numbered? One company believes that its new wheel technology can substitute the traditional rubber tyre used in mining applications and provide an alternative that is “eco-friendly, cost-effective, stronger and safer.”
One giant leap for Michelin. The French tyre maker has taken on the challenge to develop an airless tyre to equip the future Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV). It is working on this project in conjunction with the team formed by Northrop Grumman within the framework of a tender from NASA last November. The aim for the Michelin R&D teams is to make a tyre capable of resisting the extreme conditions at the lunar pole in order to explore the lunar surface and allow a sustainable presence on the Moon in 2025, and ultimately on Mars.
Airless tyres are increasingly finding favour as a potential solution for autonomous vehicles as well as for delivery applications. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has ticked both boxes with the non-pneumatic tyre (NPT) it has developed and is testing to support Starship delivery robots.
The prototype Uptis airless tyre fitted to the Mini Electric at this month’s IAA Mobility 2021 was “unanimously approved,” says Michelin. This lofty claim is hard to verify, however, the French firm does provide some evidence in a short video featuring automotive influencer Mr JWW and enigmatic car enthusiast Gercollector.
It is, says Goodyear Tire & Rubber, an industry first – a local transportation authority in the USA is field-testing the non-pneumatic tyre and wheel assembly the tyre maker developed for autonomous urban vehicles. The lessons learned will contribute towards the further development of maintenance-free tyres.
Kumho’s next generation e-NIMF and e-TOPS tyres have been honoured with 2020 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Having already received iF and Red Dot accolades in February and March respectively, has now won three of the world’s top design awards in the same year.
A new study from market research firm Global Market Insights expects the airless tyre market to surpass 139,000 units by 2024. The researcher said that stimulated production of military and heavy commercial vehicles in the Asia Pacific region would boost the segment. Also backed by urbanisation trends in the region, Global Market Insights estimates that APAC will account for more than 34 per cent of the global market by 2024.
Bridgestone is making its first-ever appearance at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The company is using an interactive display to demonstrate its mobility solutions for current mobility and future autonomous vehicles. They focus on extended mobility, improved safety and increased efficiency.
A new prototype wheel technology showcased at the Movin’On sustainable mobility summit this week promises to put an end to punctures, spare tyres (or that awful can of repair foam lurking in the bowels of your car’s boot) and regular tyre pressure checks. It’s called the Michelin Uptis Prototype – short for ‘Unique Punctureproof Tire System’. The tyre/rim combination builds upon the Michelin Tweel technology used in lawncare and industrial applications, and Michelin stresses it is more than merely a concept.
For the past 11 years, Toyo Tire & Rubber has engaged in research into the viability of airless tyres that deliver comparable performance to their pneumatic counterparts. The Japanese manufacturer first presented a prototype product at the Automotive Engineering Expo in May 2012 to demonstrate what it had achieved since 2006. Toyo Tires says it has since made “fundamental changes” to the structure of its airless tyres and has resolved various issues. The resulting improvements, it adds, are “substantial” and allow practical driving upon the latest generation of tyres. The company recently released its latest generation of airless concept tyre, the ‘noair’.
Bridgestone has announced its aim of bringing airless tyres to market by 2019, however don’t expect to find them in sizes suitable for your car. The commercialisation of the company’s Air Free Concept, which was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2013, will begin with a non-pneumatic bicycle tyre. Together with Bridgestone Cycle Co., Ltd, Bridgestone Corporation has developed what it calls a “next-generation bicycle tyre” as part of the Air Free project, and now plans to undertake feasibility studies ahead of a market launch.