This year’s Geneva Motor Show showcased some very exciting new models and concept cars which hopefully we could get to see and experience in the next decades to come. Likewise, tyre manufacturer Goodyear has showcased two prototypes and a concept which gives us a glimpse into the possible future.

Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance

Electric cars offer a unique driving dynamic than the traditional internal combustion engine. They weigh much more heavily and produce instant torque, which traditional tyres wear out 30% faster on electric vehicles as tested by Goodyear. Besides the durability issues, automakers are pressing for enhanced rolling resistance, noise and comfort, which is a lot for a tyre to do.

The tyre is called the EfficientGrip Performance with Goodyear’s Electric Drive technology, which the company claims that this new tyre will combat these challenges.

The EfficientGrip Performance boasts unique thread design which features thinner sipes (the small channels) to allow for a larger contact patch on the road than traditional radial grooves, and with more contact on the road, the tyre can cope better with the high torque outputs while maintaining performance in wet weather conditions. This design also prevents sound waves from entering its grooves to reduce road noise.

The insides matter too, as its cavity shape has been optimised to support the additional weight while maintaining optimal footprint for high performance. The EfficientGrip Performance profile yields less rotating mass, resulting in reduced energy consumption.

To reduce rolling resistance, the trad compound has been finely tuned to extend vehicle range while coping with high torque levels. In addition, the sidewall has been designed to reduce aerodynamic drag.

Goodyear Intelligent Tyre

There are many things these days which can be accessed through a simple tap on the app icon in your smart device, which Goodyear will be adding your car’s tyres in that list. This is called Goodyear Intelligent Tyre.

The company says that this is a complete tyre information system that includes a tyre, sensors and cloud-based algorithms that all work together to communicate in real-time with fleet operators via mobile app.

The sensors in the tyre, together with the vehicle and third-party information provide real-time date to Goodyear’s proprietary algorithms, which includes wear, temperature and pressure continuously updated and shared with fleet operators to precisely identify and resolve tyre-related and potential service issues before they happen.

As released by Goodyear, shared mobility is continuing to grow based on desires for reduced cost and increased convenience for consumers. In 2015, shared kilometres accounted for 4% of global kilometres travelled. This number is projected to exceed 25% by 2030.

Goodyear Oxygene Concept

When it comes concepts, the sky is very much the limit. Goodyear has introduced a concept which envisions the future of mobility as a visionary solution for cleaner and more sustainable urban mobility.

The concept is named Oxygene, which boasts a unique structure that features living moss growing within. This open structure and the tyre’s smart tread design absorb and circulate moisture and water from the road surface, allowing photosynthesis to occur and therefore releasing oxygen into the air.

Its not quite inspired by nature, however, but the principles of the circular economy, with emphasis on reducing material waste, emissions, and energy loss.

Oxygene absorbs moisture from the road through its unique tread and inhales CO2 from the air to feed the moss in its sidewall and release oxygen via photosynthesis, which in a city similar in size to greater Paris with about 2.5 million vehicles, this would mean generating nearly 3,000 tons of oxygen and absorbing more than 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The Oxygene concept features a non-pneumatic construction that is 3D-printed with rubber powder from recycled tires. The lightweight, shock-absorbing structure provides a long-lasting, puncture-free solution intended to extend the life of the tyre. Additional safety is ensured by the tire’s open structure, which improves wet grip by absorbing water from the tread.

It could also generate its own electricity; Oxygene harvests the energy generated during photosynthesis to power its embedded electronics, including onboard sensors, an artificial intelligence processing unit, and a customizable light strip in the tire’s sidewall that switches colours, warning both road users and pedestrians of upcoming manoeuvres, such as lane changes or braking.

And Oxygene uses a visible light communications system, or LiFi, for high-capacity mobile connectivity at the speed of light. LiFi enables the tyre to connect to the Internet of Things, allowing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) data exchange, which is critical to smart mobility management systems.

[Bryan Au]


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