GENEVA, Switzerland (March 7, 2012)—Goodyear will give visitors to this year's Geneva International Motor Show a sneak peak at its Air Maintenance Technology self-inflating tire system design, which has been under development for the past two years at Goodyear's technical center in Luxembourg.
Goodyear will demonstrate the technology—which promises to keep tires inflated to the optimum pressure without the need for external pumps, electronics or driver intervention—at its booth at the Geneva Show, which runs March 8-18.
Keeping tires inflated properly could result in fuel savings of up to 3.3 percent, Goodyear said, citing government and industry research.
Research conducted by Goodyear Dunlop shows that consumers are unconcerned about their tire pressure, with half of those surveyed not knowing when to check their tire pressure and one in three motorists admitting they would not be very likely to check their tire pressure even before embarking on a long trip.
“Consumers often overlook the importance of maintaining proper tire pressure,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, senior vice president and chief technical officer. “We believe this technology will enhance safe driving and performance and have a positive impact on the environment through improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and extended tire life.”
The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Vehicle Technology awarded Goodyear a $1.5 million grant for research, development and demonstration of the AMT system for commercial truck tires.
Goodyear said it's still too early in the development process to predict when AMT will come to market.
The Akron-based tire maker also will unveil an innovative electric vehicle concept tire at the Geneva show as part of an ongoing European Union project that seeks to reduce the impact of noise in cities throughout the EU.
The project, CityHush, is proposing quiet zones—so called Q-Zones where only electric vehicles will be allowed—defined by a maximum noise level. As a result, noise levels are expected to be reduced by about 15 dB, Goodyear said. There will also be a special focus on parks embedded within the Q-zone, where the aim is to achieve a 10-20 dB noise reduction.
As part of the project, Goodyear engineers are looking at how new tire technology can contribute to a quieter inner city. One way is to develop a tire to fulfill the requirements of future electric vehicles, Goodyear said.
“We are the only tire manufacturer part of the CityHush project,” said Jean Pierre Jeusette, general director of Goodyear's Innovation Center Luxembourg. “The concept tire for this project highlights our enormous research and development efforts in the production of tires for current and future electric vehicles, focused on continuously minimizing vehicle's impact on the environment.”
CityHush will implement Q-zones in five European cities—Bratislava, Slovak Republic; Bristol, England; Essen, Germany; and Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden—through modeling, using input from traffic and noise mapping models available for the different cities.