Flat tires can be a hassle for everyone. This why tire manufacturer Michelin and automaker General Motors have teamed up to reinvent the wheel and produce airless tires, which will be completely puncture-free.
The French tire manufacturer Michelin recently partnered with automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) to target a 2024 production goal for airless tires, called Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System).
The airless, puncture-free tires will make their debut for testing on GM’s Chevrolet Bolt electric car. The ultimate goal is to replace both tire and wheel with a full assembly unit for passenger vehicle use. GM plans to begin real-world testing of the Uptis prototypes by this year’s end on a fleet of Bolt EVs.
In comparison to normal tires, airless tires use fewer raw materials and less energy during production. They also lessen the number of scrapped tires from puncture or damage, eliminate most irregular wear issues from over or under inflation, and also cut down dangers on road from blowouts and sudden flats, as per New Atlas.
For the car driver, Michelin claimed that the Uptis tires won’t feel much different from the standard tires. The Uptis tires are light and have the advantage of removing the need for a spare tire. Since the tires will last longer than the traditional ones, it will also reduce the number of tires people throw away, reported CNN.
According to Michelin, at present about 12% of tires on the road will be scrapped early due to blowouts and around 8% will be scrapped due to irregular wear due to inflation issues. This leads to the total of 200 million trees scrapped annually for early replacement.
“Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future, and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners,” said Steve Kiefer, GM’s head of global purchasing and supply chain.