Unlike conventional tires, a non-pneumatic tire is not filled with air inside. These high-tech tires with the open honeycomb flank usually consist of three components: the shear band including the tread, the connecting bar and the wheel itself.
The tie bar makes all the difference as this structure combined with the shear band supports the weight of the vehicle, allowing the tire to provide a comfortable ride.
Airless tires offer reliability and freedom from maintenance
“What we have developed is a special product that absorbs the weight of the vehicle through tension. This is the only way to achieve the comfort of an air-filled tire,” explains Goodyear developer Michael Rachita. The airless tires are primarily intended for use in autonomous traffic in inner cities.
These maintenance-free tires have advantages especially for driverless transport systems on fixed routes and at low to medium speeds, since the air pressure does not have to be checked and flat tires are excluded. Even if damage should occur, the vehicle can continue to drive without restrictions.
In 2030, the sustainable tire should come
It is still a technology of the future, but Goodyear is initially aiming for approval of this technology in the USA. However, series production will likely take a few more years; The same is true of the autonomous shuttles, which will also take some time before they populate international inner cities, apart from test operations.
“Goodyear’s development of non-pneumatic tires reflects its ambitious goal of bringing the first 100 percent sustainable materials and maintenance-free tire to market by 2030,” explains Michael Rachita.