Berlin - Michelin has received the Golden Steering Wheel 2019 award for innovation of the year for its airless concept tire Uptis (unique puncture-proof tire system), the French tire maker announced 13 Nov.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Bratzel, jury member and director of the centre of automotive management at the university of applied sciences in Bergisch Gladbach described the concept tire as a “breakthrough innovation with practical utility for motorists.”
The 'Uptis', he noted, can make “a significant contribution to improving road safety, eliminating the frequent annoyance of flat tires and having positive environmental effects.”
"The award is an incentive for us, but at the same time a commitment to continue to research innovative technologies and to develop exactly the products our customers need,” said Anish K. Taneja, president of Michelin region Europe North receiving the award in Berlin.
Michelin presented its Uptis wheel-tire combination that works without any air pressure in June, during its MoveOn event in Montreal, Quebec.
Developed in cooperation with GM, the non-pneumatic tire is based on the fundamentals of Michelin's Tweel tire/wheel product, introduced at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show.
Like the Tweel, the Uptis uses resin-reinforced fiberglass spokes as load-bearing elements.
The wheel hub is integrated and the rubber tread is moulded onto the circular platform that attaches to the end of the spokes.
This makes it more puncture-resistant than conventional tires, offering a particularly high degree of mobility and reliability.
The Golden Steering Wheel is one of the most prestigious awards in the automotive industry and is awarded jointly by Bild am Sonntag and the European Auto Bild Group.