The wheels of future – Concepts and predictions

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Image credits: Flickr

Modern cars look nothing like their clunky ancestors from a century ago. One thing that seems not to have changed much is a car tyre, or at least up until now.  Prepare to be surprised because the role of car tyres is already transforming and ground-breaking innovations are just around the corner.

There are many concept tyres in development and some are just flashy products for showing off. Others are already hitting the shelves, because forward-looking tyre manufacturers realize that the needs of customers are always evolving. When you own a car straight from the future, you don’t want your tyres falling behind, or ever going flat, as a matter of fact.

Tyreless

We have used tyres as energy in recycling for some time, but that is about to turn around.  like the Goodyear’s concept “BHO3” will be able to create energy on their own. They will use the heat that is generated during rolling to generate electricity for electric car batteries. The manufacturer claims that they will also be more resistant to heat and rolling. With the demand for electric and hybrid cars rising, we can see great potential for these ones on the market.

Shape shifting

With another Goodyear’s innovative “Triple Tube” solution, drivers won’t have to worry whether their tyres are inflated. The stunning new technology uses internal tubes and pumps to adjust the inflation pressure depending on the road conditions. The changing shape of the tyre increases the performance and makes driving smooth no matter which roads you decide to follow.

Water walking

The Korean Hankook Tire wants to go a step further. This company is creating tyres that will be able to transform during driving and adapt to various surfaces. And when I said various, I meant even the water ones. Sure, it may sound like a concept from some SF movie, but for now you can watch this CGI-packed video to get a feeling of what’s on the horizon.

Airless

Koreans have also been developing non-pneumatic tyres for some time now. The fifth generation not only looks cool, but they also use material that doesn’t require any air pressure.  Unlike its younger brothers, the latest product can be mounted on traditional rims, and thus used on regular vehicles. Hankook Tire also asserts that these tyres will match rubber ones in all categories of performance.

Eco-friendly and sturdy

Other companies like Bridgestone have taken notice, and are developing their own airless prototypes that could bring an end to the days of flat tyres. This manufacturer promises drivers better durability, load-bearing capabilities, and a little to no maintenance. A new generation of their tyres can handle speeds up to 40 mph, which means they are used for golf carts, lawnmowers and such. The engineers are working day and night to further improve their characteristics, and make them a viable alternative to regular car tyres. The future of these eco-friendly prototypes looks bright, but there are still many bumps on the road that they will need to overcome.

The future is approaching on four wheels

Visionary projects are revolutionizing the way we think about tyres and what we expect from them.  They are not just air-filled rubber donuts connecting the driver and the road anymore.  It is clear that they will become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, delivering new levels of versatility and boosting driving performance.

Tyres of tomorrow will almost have a life and will of their own. They will serve as supplementary sources of energy, transform themselves on the fly, and maybe even enable you to fly. While the latter is not likely for now, there’s no doubt you will be able to enjoy your time behind the wheel like never before.

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