Atlanta, Georgia — With an eye on helping fleets reduce downtime, Bridgestone Americas Inc. is developing a non-pneumatic truck tire for commercial trailers, where it says up to 40% of tire failures occur.
The Bridgestone air-free commercial truck tire concept, designed to be used in high-speed, long-haul applications, leverages a proprietary design where the tire tread is placed on a structure of high-strength flexible spokes.
A non-pneumatic design such as this would nearly eliminate roadside breakdowns due to tire failures, Bridgestone said, without offering specifics as to concept's weight, cost or potential commercial launch date.
"Commercial fleets are increasingly looking for ways to maximize uptime and reduce emergency roadside events," Jon Kimpel, executive director, new mobility solution engineering, Bridgestone Americas, said.
According to Kimpel, as mobility advances, fleets owners turn to technology solutions and innovative products to improve operations and drive profitability.
“When tires don't need to be filled with air, this essentially erases the downtime associated with a flat tire, improving safety and making mobility more efficient," he added.
Bridgestone is targeting its air-free commercial truck tire concept initially for the trailer position, which — research indicates — accounts for about 20% of truck tire purchases but up to 40% of all tire failures.
While the commercial truck tire concept is focused initially on the trailer position, Bridgestone said it intends the design to be scalable to other commercial trucking wheel positions and applications.
The advanced air free commercial truck tire concept is part of a larger Bridgestone air free portfolio, including solutions for personal mobility, such as bicycles and small electric vehicles.