Concept tyres link autonomous and on-demand vehicles to the road ahead

This year’s Geneva Motor Show has seen the return of concept tyres from Goodyear that promise to ‘revolutionise the interaction between tyres, vehicles and their surroundings.’

At last year’s show the company introduced the idea of 3D printed spherical tyres that connect to the body of an autonomous car via magnetic levitation. Embedded sensors in the so-called Eagle-360 concept would then register road conditions and communicate this information to the car and other vehicles.

One year on and the idea has evolved to include vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity that gathers and shares information about driving conditions from the tyres, other vehicles, infrastructure, and traffic systems. Artificial intelligence would then process the data through deep learning algorithms to improve braking, handling and efficiency.

According to Goodyear, a further development revolves around a bionic skin ‘made of a super-elastic polymer with high-sensory capacity and the flexibility to adapt its tread pattern to driving conditions’ with the help of embedded actuators.

“The future of the automotive industry is being shaped by rapid advances in technology and changing consumer attitudes and behaviours,” said Joe Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer. “The concepts and technology we are showcasing in Geneva are part of the revolution that we see unfolding at the intersection of autonomy, mobility and connectivity where tires and services will play a critical role in meeting our customers’ performance and information needs.”

The company has also introduced IntelliGrip Urban, a smart tyre concept designed for autonomous, on-demand transportation.

The tyre contains embedded sensors to gather and share information about road and weather conditions with the vehicle control system to optimise speed, braking, handling and stability.

Proactive maintenance is achieved through telematics and tyre health monitoring to help fleet operators identify and resolve tyre-related issues before they happen, whilst the tyre’s tall and narrow design reduces rolling resistance and extends range for electric vehicles.

Although these tyres are future concepts, they represent an essential aspect of Goodyear’s innovation strategy and customer focus in the new mobility ecosystem, said Zekoski.