Airless Car Tyres One Step Closer

Wed 22nd Jun 2022

Punctures could be a thing of the past after one of the world’s leading car tyre manufacturers admitted that its trials of an airless tyre are going well.

Many of the big brands, including Bridgestone and Michelin have teased details of an airless tyre concept, but US firm Goodyear are thought to be ahead of the field following a successful trial on a Tesla Model 3.

The benefits of airless tyres, other than the obvious that you don’t have to worry about punctures, is that as they will always be at the right ‘pressure’ they never need topping up and in theory save you fuel.

The Goodyear model is made from sturdy plastic spokes, with a durable rubber band outer. The company’s senior program manager has said that while the tyres aren’t perfect, they are better than many might think.

“There will be noise, and some vibration,” Michael Rachita told the BBC.

“We’re still learning how to soften the ride. But we think you’ll be surprised at the performance.

“As we move into a world where autonomous vehicles are becoming more common and many cities are offering transport-as-a-service strategies, having a maintenance-free tyre is hugely important.

“It’s test-learn, test-learn. But we’re at a stage that’s given us a huge amount of confidence. This is the real deal.”

Michelin were believed to be leading the race for airless tyres, with their Uptis tyre (Unique Puncture-Proof Tyre System) featuring resin and rubber wrapped around an aluminium wheel. The French company had also boasted that their news tyres could be 3D printed and were fully connected. The company’s Technical and Scientific Director also suggested that the ride may be smoother with a Michelin. “Our greatest satisfaction came at the end of the demonstration when our passengers said they felt no difference compared with conventional tires.”