The latter involves a much smaller vehicle, "a micro-delivery robot, which delivers small packages such as coffee, " Rachita said, noting that the micro-delivery robots are being used in the U.S., United Kingdom and Estonia.
So, he said, "we are getting outside our proving grounds and putting them out in the market."
While pneumatic tires "are not going away any time soon," the Akron-based tire maker said airless models offered new opportunities, especially in a world of rapidly changing transport technologies.
"As transport is being reimagined, it's time for tires to be reimagined in a similar way," Goodyear said, listing maintenance-free operation, increased comfort with heavy loads and reliability among the advantages of airless tires.
This, it said, applied particularly for autonomous vehicle and transport-as-a-service applications, while airless models would reduce the waste-stream associated with tires - by not being scrapped early due to issues such as punctures.
Goodyear's airless tire structure comprises three components: a "shearband," which includes the tread; a "connecting web"; and the wheel.
The "connecting web," it explained, is the most critical element as, in combination with the "shearband," it supports the weight of the vehicle and gives the feel of a pneumatic tire.