Punctures can be a nightmare at the best of times. Whether you’re enjoying a relaxing Sunday drive, or you’re on your way home from a long day, there is never a good time for a puncture to strike. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was a way to stop this from happening, or even better then was a tire that would never go flat?
Well, your prayers may well have been answered several big tire brands have recently outlined their plans to roll out airless tires in the coming years. The days of punctures of tire blow-outs may well be a thing of the past in the near future.
How Do Airless Tires Work?
The main difference between an airless tire and a usual tire is that the airless tire doesn’t have sidewalls. It looks and feels like a regular tire, but doesn’t get punctures. Michelin and GM have been hard at work on a prototype called the Uptis Prototype.
This prototype uses less raw materials than a regular tire; this could significantly impact the environmental impact that getting rid of regular tires have on the planet every year.
GM will begin testing out the tires on public roads in late 2019 and that they could be available to the general public by 2024.
Bridgestone is another company who are hard at work developing an airless tire. Bridgestone has stated that their tire technology features a unique spoke structure, which is designed to support the weight vehicle. The idea being that this would eliminate the need to refill tires with air periodically.
Benefits Of Airless Tires
Despite many people thinking that truely airless tires are still some way away, there are benefits galore at the prospect of being able to use airless tires.
You Won’t Need A Spare Tire
Since you will never be suffering from a flat or blown out tire anymore, you won’t need to carry a spare in your car. This would mean less weight in your vehicle, which in turn could make your vehicle more economical in its consumption of fuel.
It Helps The Environment
In a world where we recycle tires constantly, there are fears about some of the chemicals contained within the tires. According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, some of these chemicals could be carcinogenic and mutagenic. Meaning they could cause cancer or gene mutations.
200 million tires discarded annually around the world. The prospect of airless tires being 100% recyclable is something to get excited about. This would mean far fewer people having to visit a tire repair shop when their tire is worn out.
You may be asking yourself what happens to an airless tire when it has worn out? Well, according to research from leading motor companies, only a thin tread will need to be replaced instead of the whole tire. This is an exciting prospect; the next few years could see Airless tires have a substantially positive environmental impact.