GENEVA, Switzerland—Goodyear is offering a sneak peak this week at mobility concepts that offer the possibility of altering inflation pressure on demand and turning a tire into a battery charger.
Goodyear is showing the concepts—dubbed “Triple Tube” and “BHO3,” respectively—at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show, which runs from March 5 to 15.
“These concept tires re-imagine the role that tires may play in the future,” said Joe Zekoski, Goodyear's senior vice president and chief technical officer. “We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile.”
The Triple Tube concept features three internal tubes located beneath the tread and near the inboard and outboard shoulders of the tire as well as the center. The tire relies on an internal pump that moves air from the main air chamber to the three individual air chambers, or tubes.
The tire automatically adjusts to three different inflation positions based on road conditions:
c Eco/Safety — maximum inflation in all three tubes for reduced rolling resistance;
c Sporty — reduced inflation in the inboard shoulder tube, enhancing dry handling through an optimized contact patch; and
c Wet Traction — maximized inflation in the center tube, improving aquaplaning resistance through a raised center tread.
The BHO3 concept generates electricity through the action of materials in the tire that capture and transform the energy created by heat when it flexes as it rolls during normal driving conditions. The materials used would optimize the tire's electricity generation capabilities as well as its rolling resistance.
As demand for electric cars grows, this technology has the potential to reduce or even eliminate the vehicle-range anxiety motorists may have with electric cars.
Zekoski said concepts represent an essential aspect of Goodyear's innovation strategy, instilling a forward-looking, market-back mindset in the company's research and development teams.
“It is more important than ever for us to stay firmly rooted in our market-back innovation process, which calls on us to focus on, and anticipate, the rapidly evolving needs of our customers,” he said.