AKRON—Goodyear is on the world stage this week, unveiling some other worldly concepts for cars of the future at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland.
The company says it's preparing for "the evolving mobility ecosystem, defined by the transition to driverless vehicles and shared mobility in urban centers." What that means for Goodyear, as evidenced at the show, is coming out with new concepts that will make tires perform better and interact with increasingly smart and connected vehicles.
That includes the spherical-shaped Eagle 360 Urban and IntelliGrip Urban concept tires.
The Eagle 360 Urban is a "smart tire" that the company is working on for autonomous vehicles. It has sensors and connectivity to the vehicle and uses artificial intelligence to monitor and improve its performance.
Actually, the tire, with qualities more likely found in the fantastic futuristic fiction seen Comic Con, can brag even more: Goodyear says the Eagle 360 Urban has "a bionic skin made of a super-elastic polymer with high-sensory capacity and the flexibility to adapt its tread pattern to driving conditions with the help of actuators beneath the surface."
The IntelliGrip Urban might not have those kind of Spiderman-like abilities, but it's also being designed for autonomous vehicles. Its key features also include sensors to gather and manage information about handling and road conditions, but its greatest claim might be a tall and narrow design that reduces friction and improves the range of electric vehicles.
Both tires are evidence that, even in a mature industry, innovation is among the keys to success and the company says it will continue to evolve. Goodyear is still headquartered in Akron, where it also does much of its research and development work.
"The future of the automotive industry is being shaped by rapid advances in technology and changing consumer attitudes and behaviors," said Joe Zekoski, Goodyear's senior vice president and chief technical officer. "The concepts and technology we are showcasing in Geneva are part of the revolution that we see unfolding at the intersection of autonomy, mobility and connectivity where tires and services will play a critical role in meeting our customers' performance and information needs."