Puncture-Proof Airless Tyres by 2024
Mobility for the Future
Michelin and General Motors presented a live demonstration of their new Airless Wheel Technology—the Michelin Uptis Prototype, a Unique Puncture-proof Tyre System. Their joint research agreement targets to introduce this technology on passenger models by 2024.
Making strides towards Michelin’s strategy for research and development in sustainable mobility, the Uptis Prototype, a descendant of their VISION concept tyre, has sufficiently replicated the characteristics of a regular pneumatic tyre while simultaneously making it indestructible.
The Uptis tyre is made from composite rubber and resin-embedded fibreglass, and can withstand a car’s weight at road-going speeds, while previous iterations of airless tyres could not support as much weight or travel fast enough.
Doing away with air, the interior architecture of the tyre supports the vehicle, ensuring solidity of the wheel and guaranteeing comfort and safety. The tyre is puncture-proof, blowout-proof, and flat-proof.
The benefits from this innovation are numerous and diverse. Eliminating the risks of tyre malfunction increases road safety for road users, while also putting an end to irregular-wear issues from over or under-inflated tyres. Currently, an estimated 200 million tyres worldwide are scrapped prematurely every year, resulting in a considerable amount of waste. The production of these airless tyres uses less raw materials and energy, while needing to be replaced much less frequently, which decreases environmental footprint and leads to a more sustainable future—ultimately, supporting General Motors’ global vision for “a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”
GM will commence real-world testing of the Uptis Prototypes on a test fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs in Michigan later this year.