Michelin’s non-puncture airless wheels keep on advancing: this is how Michelin sees the future of tires
For years Michelin has promised a tire without risk of punctures and without air inside. With the aim of reducing the waste of tires due to punctures or poor maintenance, they have developed one with no air inside and no puncture option. Now, finally, they have shown it in public tests so that users can live the experience of driving a vehicle with these tires.
During this IAA Munich 2021 the tire company has shown the progress they have made with their airless wheels. The idea behind this technology is be able to offer wheels that will not interrupt the journey due to a puncture or blowout. Also, never have to worry about watching if the wheels are inflated enough and the internal pressure is adequate.
To achieve this, what Michelin has done is to develop a tire that has … more tire inside. With a flexible rubber spoke structure, the inner tire allows cushioning and at the same time maintain a constant pressure for the wheels. All this in a wheel that promises to have a useful life up to three times greater than a traditional one.
Years of work with the promise of arriving in 2024
Getting here, however, has not been an easy task. Michelin has been working on this for more than a decade and they cannot yet be bought on the market to replace normal wheels. The key date appears to be 2024 (at least for the United States), which is when they will begin to distribute them together with General Motors, as announced. It also largely depends on how regulators in each country or region accept this new tire.
During the IAA Munich 2021 Michelin has mounted its airless tires on a Mini Electric. According to Michelin, the people who have been able to test the new tires on the Mini Electric describe the experience as … driving on normal tires. And it is precisely that what they seek to achieve, that the experience is not different but that the same comfort is achieved as with traditional tires, but without the disadvantages that these bring.
Over the past few years Michelin has been experimenting with different ideas to combat climate change from the part that involves them. The more durable tires are an important change to reduce the waste of materials, but not the only one. We recently saw how they are testing new navigation systems for giant tankers, like their giant inflatable sails.
Via | Michelin