No one can deny the importance of tires. But honestly, they’re so common and plain these days–once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen all, right? Wrong. Truth is, technology has kept up with modern wheels and have produced remarkable ones that are truly impressive, to say the least. Here are some of them:
Goodyear’s self-charging tire
Goodyear made a splash when it introduced the BH03 for electric vehicles in 2015. According to the tire company, the BH03 creates enough 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.”
Now if only they can make one for normal vehicles…
Michelin’s tire that doesn’t get flat
Yes, it’s a dream come true for all motorists–wheels that don’t get flat no matter what.
Michelin’ Uptis (or Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) makes this possible by getting rid of all the air found in conventional tires and then replacing them with flexible spokes to reinforce the tire.
The Uptis is still a prototype, and will be tested on some Chevrolet Bolt models. Michelin and Chevrolet plans to introduce the Uptis to the market by 2024.
Goodyear’s “plant-like” tire
You probably remember way back in grade school Biology about photosynthesis: plants absorb carbon dioxide and “breathe out” oxygen. Well, Goodyear took this further by making their “Oxygene” tires do the same thing that plants do.
This environment-friendly tire contains living moss that grows on the tire’s sidewall. Once it takes in light, it uses technology to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.
“By contributing in this way to cleaner air generation, the tire could help enhance quality of life and health for city-dwellers,” said Chris Delaney, President of Goodyear Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
Michelin’s coral-like, bio-sourced tire
The Michelin Tweel may look like a tire from another planet, but at least it’s designed to be environment-friendly and rechargeable. What’s more, its coral-like structure makes the tire almost undeflatable.
We just wish they could make these wheels look less “spongy” and “corally.”
NASA’s “extraterrestrial-friendly” tire
NASA’s wheels look like it came from a science fiction novel. Still, don’t be fooled by its appearance. This super-elastic tire is extremely tough–strong enough to drive over Mars’ rocky terrains like it’s munching cereals for breakfast.
According to NASA: “The novel use of shape memory alloys capable of undergoing high strain as load bearing components, instead of typical elastic materials, results in a tire that can withstand excessive deformation without permanent damage. Using shape memory alloy as radial stiffening elements can also increase the load carrying capacity of the tire.”
Goodyear’s spherical tire
If you think tires are supposed to look like donuts, then think again. Goodyear actually created a rounded tire that looks like a ball.
The Goodyear Eagle 360 Urban was unveiled last year in Geneva, and frankly, it’s one of the most unique tires we’ve ever seen. This tire not only looks different, but it’s also extremely smart because it has an actual brain inside it. So not only does it move your vehicle around, but it also “senses, decides, transforms and interacts” via artificial intelligence.