MONTREAL—A new vision for sustainable mobility in the future, underscored by a new logo, was the big reveal for Michelin at its Movin' On 2017 conference in Montreal June 13-15.
Michelin's piece de resistance for the conference was presented June 14 by Terry K. Gettys, executive vice president of research and development for Michelin.
Gettys described Vision, Michelin's new concept tire, as a prospective concentration of technologies developed by a combination of creative design thinking and consultation with end-users.
"In managing research and development at Michelin, I often get the question, how do we select our plans for disruptive technologies?" Gettys said at the Movin' On press conference. "We try to deliver on this proposition: better solutions for sustainable mobility."
Gettys then showed a film that demonstrated how Vision would work. A young couple gets into their car, which asks them where they are going. They select a destination in the mountains.
"You'll need winter tires," the vehicle tells them.
The couple stops at a recharging station, which uses 3D imagine to create a winter tread for their tires, on the spot.
According to Michelin publicity, the Vision project was launched in autumn 2016 under the leadership of the Michelin Corporate Innovation Board.
"The CIB's road map was simple: imagine an object that signified the mobility of the future, that was packed with converging technologies and offered an ultra-high level of environmental performance, in accordance with the group's 4R strategy (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Renew) and Michelin's values," the company said.
Under the direction of group designer Mostapha El-Oulhani, the process stressed co-construction with users and experts, according to Michelin.
The CIB interviewed some 90 people, ranging from airline pilots and engineering equipment drivers to farmers and bike-riding children, the tire maker said.
"From these discussions, important needs were identified, in particular concerning sustainability," it said.
"No users wanted to reduce their need for safety," it said. "Grip in all weather conditions and effective braking in all circumstances were essential. In addition, users embraced environmental responsibility. They wanted to consume cleanly."
Under the Vision concept, a tire can be printed in 3D and is rechargeable according to its level of wear and mobility needs, Michelin said.
The tread design is optimized and tread depth is reduced to make the tire more efficient in its use of materials, it said. Instead of air, the tire relies on an inner architecture capable of supporting the vehicle, it said.
"Equipped with sensors, Vision provides real-time information about its condition," Michelin said. "What's more, thanks to Michelin's mobile application, it's possible to simply make an appointment to change the tire's destination, depending on the user's needs."
This feature is carried out via 3D imaging, according to Michelin.
Movin' On 2017 is the 13th mobility conference Michelin has sponsored since 1998, but the first to be called Movin' On. The first 12 conferences, held at various places around the world and called Challenge Bibendum, were like the latest event in that they offered various presentations, discussions and proposed solutions to the world's mobility problems.
More than 4,000 people attended Movin' On in Montreal, according to Michelin.