Airless tires. You have seen them applied on bicycles and ATV, but never on automobiles. Well, that will soon change when General Motors begin testing Michelin-developed Unique Puncture-proof Tire System (UPTIS) on the automaker’s fleet of Chevrolet Bolts. The U.S. automaker and the French tire maker jointly presented the airless wheel technology at the Movin’On Summit for sustainable mobility last week on June 4th, 2019.
The two companies will work together on the wireless wheel assembly with GM planning on introducing it on passenger vehicles as early as 2024. GM will initiate real-world testing and validation of the UPTIS Prototype later this year on a Michigan test fleet of Bolt EVs. The benefits of airless tires are immense. For starter, it will help to reduce the number of punctured or damaged tires that are beyond economical repair and thus scrapped prematurely.
Moreover, airless tires like UPTIS also reduce the use of raw materials, energy for production and emissions that associated to making of spare tires and replacement tires. According to GM, UPTIS also eliminates irregular wear and tear caused by over- or under-inflation, and therefore more lasting over conventional air-filled varieties.
For users, airless tires signal the days of worrying over- or under-inflation is finally over, which also means will be no more worrying of punctured tires or dangerous blowouts due conditions like over-inflation or worn tires. Before mankind finds a way to get rid of tires for good (read: hover automobiles), UPTIS, along with clean energy vehicle like electric or fuel cell vehicles, will be our best bet to sustainable motoring. On to the future!
All images courtesy of General Motors.