Goodyear isn’t just prepping for self-driving cars — it’s getting ready for ones that fly.
The company is unveiling a concept tire for flying vehicles Tuesday at the 89th annual Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland.
The Goodyear AERO would operate both as a tire for driving on the road and as a “propeller” for airborne travel.
The AERO is a multi-modal tilt-rotor concept and would use magnetic propulsion, the company said.
The spokes are designed to support the weight of a vehicle on the ground, and then act as fan blades to provide lift. Promotional videos on YouTube show the tires tilting upward as a vehicle rises from the surface of the roadway.
“This unique airless tire uses a non-pneumatic structure that is flexible enough to dampen shocks when driving on the road, and strong enough to rotate at the high speeds necessary for the rotors to create vertical lift,” the company said in a news release.
Fiber-optic sensors would allow the tires to monitor road conditions and tire wear.
The AERO would also feature artificial intelligence technology for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.
Goodyear officials said they hope the tire sparks conversations about future mobility challenges and possible solutions as the world becomes increasingly crowded.
“For over 120 years Goodyear has obsessively pursued innovations and inventions, partnering with the pioneers driving change and discovery in transport,” Chris Helsel, chief technology officer at Goodyear, said. “With mobility companies looking to the sky for the answer to the challenges of urban transport and congestion, our work on advanced tire architectures and materials led us to imagine a wheel that could serve both as a traditional tire on the road and as a propulsion system in the sky.”
This isn’t the first time Goodyear has gone out-of-the-box with a concept tire.
Last year in Geneva, the company unveiled Oxygene, which featured living moss growing within the sidewall to improve air quality. The open structure was designed to “absorb and circulate moisture and water from the road surface, allowing photosynthesis to occur and therefore releasing oxygen into the air.”
Contact staff writer Ann Zaniewski at 313-222-6594 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @AnnZaniewski.
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