Geneva – Goodyear has introduced its latest concept tire at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, held 7-17 March.
The Goodyear Aero concept is a two-in-one tire designed for the autonomous, flying cars of the future, Goodyear said in a 5 March statement.
The concept, said the US tire maker, would work both as a tire for driving on the road and a “propeller” for flying through the sky.
The tire, said Chris Helsel, chief technology officer at Goodyear, is in alignment with new concepts by mobility companies which are "looking to the sky" to respond to increasing transport challenges.
The Aero is a multimodal tilt-rotor concept, Goodyear explained in its release.
The tire would serve as a drive train to transfer and absorb forces to and from the road in a traditional orientation and an aircraft propulsion system to provide lift in another orientation.
The tire has a non-pneumatic structure, with spokes that would help carry the weight of the vehicle and act as fan blades to provide lift when the tire is tilted.
This airless tire, according to Goodyear, "is flexible enough to dampen shocks when driving on the road, and strong enough to rotate at the high speeds necessary for the rotors to create vertical lift."
The concept tire would use magnetic force to provide frictionless propulsion.
This would enable the high rotating speeds required to drive the vehicle on the ground and, when the wheel is tilted, lift a vehicle into the air and propel it forward.
Light-based, fibre optic sensors are also used in the tire to monitor road conditions, tire wear and the structural integrity of the tire itself.
An artificial intelligence processor is added to combine the tire data with information from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.