The auto industry is on the brink of a complete reimagination for the automobile will be seen in the upcoming decades. Electrified powertrains, lightweight materials and driver aids entering the realm of autonomous motoring is already being explored as viable technologies that could impact motoring as soon as the next decade.
Making contact with roads of the past, present and likely into the future (barring massive advances in hover vehicle technology), tires remain a key part to automobiles. While tire construction, treads and wheel sizes have evolved, for the most part the has not been credited for not being 21st century technology. At the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, industry giant Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is presenting two potentially revolutionary tire concepts, the Triple Tube and the BH03, capable of changing the way the rubber meets the road.
One of the biggest hindrances in developing the ideal tire for the road is the inability to adjust to varying conditions. Despite how important tires are to the safe travel of a vehicle, there is often a compromise to for performance, grip and durability. The most transparent example of that is with summer and winter tires. One of Goodyear's tire concepts involves adaptive air pressure positioning that can adjust the contact patch to different kinds of driving.
The Goodyear Triple Tube tire features three internal tubes fed by a pump. The internally-mounted pump alters the tire pressure in each tube to the ideal road conditions placed on three settings. An Eco/Safety position places maximum inflation on all three tubes of the Triple Tube tire presenting reduced rolling resistance for greater vehicle efficiency. A Sport position for the Goodyear Triple Tube tire inflates the inboard tube for improved handling. The third tire position is for Wet Traction designed to decrease the chance of aquaplaning. To do this, the center tube of the Triple Tube is inflated to maximum pressure.
The Goodyear Triple Tube tire technology applies a similar strategy that has led to variable valve timing and high gear count transmissions. The ability to provide the maximum amount of adjustability into a vehicle greatly increases the overall efficiency.
BH03Goodyear has made a tremendous impact on the movement of gasoline-powered cars for more than 115 years. With the BH03 concept tire, the famous company could charge up the electric car market.
Not just a tire, the Goodyear BH03 is an electrical generator. Through tire flexing as the vehicle rolls, the BH03's materials captures heat and transforms it into energy. With this technology, the BH03 additional power generation is prolong the electric driving range of a battery-powered vehicle. Able to generate power under normal driving conditions, this Goodyear concept tire adheres to the "More Driven" slogan.
Shown as concepts in Geneva, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer Joe Zekoski says the BH03 and the Triple Tube tire technology has the potential of exploring the future use of tires on automobiles. "We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile." said Zekoski.