Goodyear is working on airless tires for electric vehicles, with the goal of having the first entirely sustainable material and maintenance-free tire on the market by 2030.
Goodyear has expanded testing of its airless non-pneumatic tires (NPT) to high-performance electric vehicles as part of its commitment to allow mobility now and in the future.
Goodyear recently tested the alternative tire architecture at its Akron Proving Grounds after successfully completing durability testing of non-pneumatic tires at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. According to Goodyear, the car successfully moved at speeds of up to 55 mph (88 km/h) during recent testing. It's tough to tell from the footage, but the car looks to handle differently - especially when changing directions quickly.
Goodyear's Airless Tire
Goodyear and third-party trained test drivers gave positive feedback on maneuverability at speeds up to 55 miles per hour, as well as acceleration and deceleration. Airless tires are said to be safer, maintenance-free, longer-lasting, and environmentally friendly than traditional tires, but they are difficult to manufacture. To get to the stage of series production, a lot of work has to be done.
For consumers' finances and the environment, airless tires are a gamechanger, and Goodyear is at the forefront of the category. Traditional alternatives to these tires are safer, more sustainable, maintenance-free, and last longer.
For Autonomous Shuttles
Non-pneumatic tires for autonomous passenger shuttles have also made great advances, according to Goodyear. With the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), the business is taking part in the first in-field use test of airless tires on an AV shuttle.
The senior program manager at Goodyer Michael Rachita said:
“We are excited to progress to this new phase of testing and stretch the imagination on what can be possible with airless tires. We have shown that Goodyear’s NPTs can achieve highway speeds while also maintaining the dynamic handling required for a consumer vehicle, which is a meaningful milestone.”
According to Goodyear, which developed the tire and assembly, the non-pneumatic tire (NPT) and its wheel assembly may be more sustainable, maintenance-free, and long-lasting than traditional tires.
JTA has an autonomous testing facility, which Goodyear claims will provide an appropriate experimental environment for the tire when the two companies begin collecting data on ride comfort, noise, and other factors.
A Local Motors Olli driverless shuttle is being used to test the tires. JTA is considering Local Motors as one of the vendors for its driverless people mover initiative, which will eventually expand and replace the existing Skyway monorail system. According to Vikrant Aggarwal, president of Local Motors, airless tires may become the industry norm in the next few years.
Olli Driverless Bus
One of the primary reasons behind why they would be preferable is that because NPTs don't fluctuate in pressure, they could improve tread life by preventing over- and under-inflation. The airless tires on the Olli are the first time an NPT and wheel assembly to support autonomous vehicle mobility have been brought out in a city context for in-field operation, according to JTA and Goodyear.
Although the Olli application is being marketed as an industry first by Goodyear and JTA, the concept of a non-pneumatic tire is not new. J.V. Martin of Garden City, New York, designed a safety tire with hickory hoops covered in rubber in 1938.
For decades, they've been employed in applications like riding lawn mowers and golf carts. NPTs for vehicles are also being tested by Goodyear and other tire manufacturers. Bridgestone debuted its second-generation airless prototype tire for vehicles in 2013, while Michelin claims its version of NPTs for cars as puncture resistant.