Seldom do we hear the word ‘concept’ and ‘tires’ being used together, except for a rare few occasions and this rare occasion happened during this year’s Geneva Motor Show when Goodyear reimagined tires entirely. The tire maker has envisioned that the tires of the future could be spherical with the car riding on them via magnetic levitation technology. Obviously, the tires won’t be smooth like a ball; it will still have tread pattern, but these future tires will be made of special compound that stays stiff on dry roads and soften on wet roads.
Goodyear said that the tires won’t be one-size-fits-all, instead, they will be “customized design based on location and driving habits” and will leverage on 3D printing to achieve the customization. These visionary tires will sport “sponge-like groove design” that reacts to contact with water, softening to enable deeper grooves for aquaplaning resistance and similar to traditional tires, the tread pattern is expected to eject the water by the nature of centrifugal force, but this time, we would imagine it will be splashing all around and hence the need for a covered wheel well as demonstrated by the CGI video. When on dry condition, the groove will stay stiffen to “deliver driving performance.”
With the Eagle-360, the tire in itself is a piece of advanced technology that most of us will find it hard to comprehend at this and this technology include active technology that moves the tire accordingly to counter sliding from potential hazards, while continuously providing a fluid, lateral movement for a smooth ride. It will have sensors too to picks up road conditions and adjust the speed of the vehicle as needed. But that’s not all; the sensors will also share the road and weather conditions with nearby vehicles, so trailing vehicles will be able to prepare itself to tackle the road hazards ahead. In addition, tire wear will be monitored too and work to reposition themselves to optimized wear, thus extending the mileage.
It is no doubt an audacious vision, but with the growing population and consequent demand for transportation, this could be the future. One clear benefit would be parking spaces. With the tires able to move in any direction, the vehicles won’t require additional space for maneuvering and thus a same-size car park could accommodate more vehicles. Welcome to the future.