Your future tires might do more than roll you down the road. Goodyear has two new prototypes that the company says might someday help charge your electric vehicle’s battery and will adapt their tire pressure to match road conditions.
Goodyear’s BH-03 tire would generate electricity though its normal heating cycle as it rolls and flexes. Goodyear says that not just the tire’s construction, but also its thermo -piezoelectric materials would contribute to the small flow of electricity.
EV’s have been driving tire changes since their re-introduction over the past decade. Originally, the automakers were tending towards low rolling resistance by optimizing materials, but the latest trend is to take that a step further and make tires much taller and much narrower than convention tires. The BMW i3 highlights this current trend best. Its tires almost look like bicycle tires in person Red/orange car is a production i3, photo taken by the author).
A second idea Goodyear is developing is self-inflating tires. Called triple-tube, the new tires go back to the days when tires were shells with a tube inside. Now, instead of one tube, there are three. An inboard pump would match the tubes’ inflation pressure to match the driving conditions of the road. Goodyear envisions three settings such as Eco, Sport, and Wet.
Goodyear’s self-inflating tire idea is not new to 2015. For many years Goodyear has been creating prototypes for trucks and other vehicles that would monitor their own pressure and self inflate.