Michelin Unveils Airless Passenger Vehicle Tire
Since our government is incapable of fixing our road infrastructure, flat tires are an unfortunate inevitability for drivers, unless those tires were never designed to hold air in the first place. This week we’re at the Movin’On Conference in Montreal where Michelin has just unveiled their latest technological advance in pursuit of their long term vision, an airless tire for passenger vehicles. They call it UPTIS (Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System) and Michelin has partnered with General Motors with a goal to bring it to market on vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EV as early as 2024.
“Uptis demonstrates that Michelin’s vision for a future of sustainable mobility is clearly an achievable dream,” said Florent Menegaux, chief executive officer for Michelin Group. “Through work with strategic partners like GM, who share our ambitions for transforming mobility, we can seize the future today.”
According to a Michelin survey, about 20% of tires scrapped each year are due to punctures or irregular wear, both problems that UPTIS aims to solve. Which means this new assembled airless wheel structure tire technology has the potential to greatly reduce the amount of raw material and waste.
UPTIS features ground-breaking improvements in architecture and composite materials, which enable it to bear the car’s weight at road-going speeds. At this time, few details are available to indicate how this concept technology will handle challenging conditions like mud and snow, but Michelin and GM are beginning real-world testing of UPTIS on a test fleet of Bolt EV vehicles in Michigan to find out.