Legend has it that Charles Goodyear accidentally discovered the vulcanization process, turning rubber into a product that could actually be used to make useful products. The founder of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company chose Goodyear’s name for the company in tribute to the discovery.

Goodyear tyres are today recognised throughout the world as the products of an American industrial icon – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. For 120 years, the company has played a major role in moving the world forward, its history punctuated by breakthrough achievements and ever-better products.

“Few companies have left tracks intertwined so closely with key milestones in human history as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Founded at the dawn of the motor age, Goodyear took to the skies and eventually travelled to the moon. We are always at the forefront of innovation, dedicated to offering our customers and clients the Freedom to Move through superior products and services.” said Ryan Patterson, President, Goodyear Asia Pacific.

“With 120 years of achievements, we have generations of momentum propelling us forward to continue innovating in the decades to come,” Mr. Patterson said. “We’re celebrating our legacy of innovation at a time when the industry is evolving faster than any time since the invention of the automobile.”

From racetracks to the Modular Equipment Transporter on the moon, Goodyear’s products are found in a multitude of exciting and compelling human achievements. Here’s a sample of the past, present and future of Goodyear’s innovations.

A strong of firsts: In 1839, Charles Goodyear discovered a revolutionary invention that changed people’s everyday lives, the vulcanization of rubber. His namesake company has claimed many firsts, including tyres on the first mass-produced car of the Ford Model T (1908); first pneumatic aviation tyres (1909); and the first tyres on the moon with NASA astronauts (1971).

Not just for cars: After introducing the first aviation tyres, Goodyear expanded to create fruitful and innovative products such as the first retreadable aircraft tyres in 1927. By the 1980s, Goodyear launched the first FAA-approved radial tyres for commercial aircraft.

Goodyear Eagle racing tyres can meet the extreme demands of dragsters.

On the track: Throughout its history, Goodyear has been dominating across the entire spectrum of motorsports. In 1998, Goodyear won its 368th Formula 1 Grand Prix race, the most of any other tyre manufacturer. And for more than 60 years, Goodyear has been a fixture in NASCAR racing and is currently the exclusive tyre supplier to the circuit’s top three series.

Soybean oil-based tyres: To further commit to its product responsibility and sustainability promise, Goodyear established its first commercial use of a new soybean oil-based rubber compound. Goodyear’s team of resourceful scientists and engineers discovered a tread compound using soybean oil, which is naturally derived, cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable. By employing soybean oil in tyres, Goodyear found a new approach to keep the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing the vehicle’s grip on the road surface. Furthermore, this also promotes the importance of safe-driving, as the advanced tyres are specifically used during dry, wet and winter conditions.

Silica from rice-husk ash: To highlight Goodyear’s commitment to the community, market place, and environment, Goodyear began using silica derived from rice husk ash to enhance traction and treadwear in selected consumer tyres.  Rice husk ash is an environmental-friendly and cost-effective alternative to the chemical compound.

Tyre pressure warning systems are available today in some cars but Goodyear has developed a system which has sensors inside the tyres. The sensor/transponder, about the size of a watch battery, is cured into the Goodyear tyre. It identifies the tyre, takes its temperature and reads its air pressure. This information is relayed to the driver via a Siemens-developed radio frequency/antenna/interpretation/display system.

Sensors in tyres: Technology is becoming essential in our daily lives and Goodyear has innovated their products to meet the standards of today’s industry trends. Goodyear’s latest creation of sensor-equipped intelligent tyres can continuously measure and record vital data that allows fleet operators to manage tire services. Real-time data is displayed into Goodyear’s proprietary algorithm, which enables fleet managers to monitor tire wear, temperature and pressure in real time. In 2018, Goodyear’s prototype was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.

Intelligent tyres: With the fast growth of artificial intelligence in today’s auto industry, cars are the third fastest growing device after phones and tablets. Goodyear’s focus is on securing its tyres as intelligent as the vehicles, especially as consumers demand a 360-degree experience with higher levels of autonomy. Goodyear’s prototype was demonstrated at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

Ride and car-sharing: To ensure consumers’ rides are safe, comfortable and reliable as possible, Goodyear is focusing on improving the solutions for the ride and car-sharing. Recently, Goodyear has worked with start-up companies, such as Stratim and Tesloop in this area.

The Eagle-360, Eagle-360 Urban and IntelliGrip Urban: As artificial intelligence has been progressing over the years, Goodyear’s Eagle-360 concept tyre is designed to enable the future of mobility, and was officially unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The Eagle-360, a spherical-shaped design concept tire, was designed with key features of manoeuvrability, connectivity and biomimicry for autonomous mobility that allows the car to move in all directions. This contributes to the safety for passengers, as well as coping with space limitations such as tight parking lots or city streets.

Goodyear’s newer concepts – the spherical-shaped Eagle 360 Urban and the IntelliGrip Urban smart tyres – apply emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity to help the autonomous vehicles of the future navigate the millions of possible unknowns we face in every day driving scenarios.

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To know more about Goodyear tyres and services in Malaysia, visit www.goodyear.com.my.

[Chips Yap]

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