Bridgestone unveiled its second-generation prototype of its air-free tire at the Paris Motor Show this past weekend. Its first air-less prototype was released in 2011.
The tire utilizes shock-absorbing resin bands in a spoke-like fashion to keep the tires shape. The tread is replaceable and made of a thin band of solid rubber, according to CNET. The second-gen prototype is also better suited to handle heat buildup, said the company.
Olivier Monbet, leader of Bridgestone’s technical department for France and Benelux, told CNET that the airless tire of course eliminates flat tires but mainly, that every part of this tire is recyclable.
Bridgestone told CNET that its next prototype, due over the next two to four years, will focus on lateral stiffness and driver steerability. The Japan-based tiremaker plans to begin testing them within a year on small Toyota single-passenger electric vehicles that run in Tokyo, Monbet told CNET.