BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 21 March '15

GOODYEAR’S CONCEPT TYRE CHARGES UP EVS

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company unveiled two new concept tyres at this month’s Geneva International Motor Show, which could ‘radically change’ the role of car tyres in the future.

Though the two tyres are concept products, Goodyear believes the futuristic technologies ‘stretch the imagination and provide a glimpse of what practical innovations may be on the horizon.’

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Electricity from heat

The first concept – named ‘BHO3’ – offers the possibility of charging the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated by the rolling tyre into electrical energy.

The second concept, ‘Triple Tube’, contains three tubes that adjust tyre inflation pressure in response to changing road conditions, which Goodyear says will deliver ‘new levels of performance and versatility’.

‘These concept tires reimagine the role that tires may play in the future. We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile.’

Joe Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer

The end of range anxiety?

The action of materials in the BH03 tyre generates electricity, capturing and transforming the energy created by heat when the tyre flexes as it rolls during normal driving conditions. The materials used would optimise the tyre’s electricity generation capabilities as well as its rolling resistance.

As demand for electric cars grows, this technology could help put an end to the range anxiety motorists may have with electric cars.

Triple tube

This tyre contains three internal tubes with an internal pump that moves air from the main air chamber to the three individual air chambers in the tubes. The tyre automatically adjusts to three different positions based on road conditions.

The Eco/Safety position (with maximum inflation in all three tubes) offers reduced rolling resistance; the Sporty position (with reduced inflation within the inboard shoulder tube) gives drivers dry handling through an optimised contact patch and the Wet Traction position (with maximised inflation in the centre tube) creates a raised tread in the centre of the tyre that provides high resistance to aquaplaning.

Although these tires are future concepts, Zekoski says they represent an essential aspect of Goodyear’s innovation strategy, instilling a ‘forward-looking, market-back mindset’ in the company’s research and development teams.

At its Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, Goodyear is aiming to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and these tyres, click here.