Could This ‘Airless’ Tire Change the Way We Drive? [VIDEO]
Just a few months ago, Michelin unveiled what it describes as "airless" and "puncture proof." And if it lives up to all the hype, the UPTIS could change the way cars have operated since the late 19th century.
UPTIS (an acronym for Unique, Puncture-Proof Tire System) eliminates one of the things that drivers have assumed to be an integral part of the tire for well over a hundred years: air. Here's more from caranddriver.com:
"Unveiled at the company's sustainable-mobility-focused Movin'On Summit in Montreal today, Uptis is a tire without a traditional sidewall that carries its load by the top thanks to a new resin-embedded fiberglass material that Michelin was granted over 50 patents for."
And the Michelin UPTIS is ready for testing at General Motors facilities in Michigan. Again, from caranddriver.com:
"The UPTIS concept tires have a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour and a max load of 1102 pounds. Different versions with different specs and driving characteristics will be possible. That's the kind of work Michelin will do with GM to figure out the right structure and number of spokes, which type of rubber to put on the outside, and how to embed the fiberglass in the tire depending on the vehicle application. No matter how the Uptis ends up, it will be more stable than other tires."
In theory, the tread life for the UPTIS is the same as regular tires. However, in "real world" driving it would last longer because now operators would never be driving on improperly inflated tires.