The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has revealed two innovative new concept tires at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show that could reshape the future for autonomous cars.
The concepts: the spherical-shaped Eagle-360 – a future-oriented tire – was designed with key features of maneuverability, connectivity and biomimicry for autonomous mobility, while the IntelliGrip, featuring advanced sensor and treadwear technology, is a solution for the earlier adoption of self-driving vehicles.
Both tires are designed with safety in mind, which according to recent studies, is a key concern among consumers around autonomous vehicles. The company says it reflects Goodyear’s focus on anticipating the rapidly evolving needs of its customers.
“By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road,” said Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer. “Goodyear’s concept tires play a dual role in that future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and testbeds for next-generation technologies.”
Additional details on the two concept tires include:
The Goodyear Eagle-360 is a spherical-shaped design concept tire that would provide self-driving cars ultimate maneuverability, connectivity and biomimicry to increase safety.
- Maneuverability: The multi-orientation of the spherical-shaped tire allows the car to move in all directions, contributing to safety for passengers, as well as coping with space limitations such as tight parking lots or city streets.
- Connectivity: Embedded sensors further increase safety by communicating road and weather conditions to the vehicle control system and other nearby cars, while tread and tire pressure monitoring technology regulate even wear of the 360-degree tire to extend mileage.
- Connected via magnetic levitation: The tires would rely on a magnetic levitation system to suspend the car resulting in a smooth, quiet ride for the passenger.
- Biomimicry: Inspired by nature, the 3-D printed tread mimics the pattern of brain coral and behaves like a natural sponge – designed to stiffen in dry conditions and soften when wet to deliver excellent driving performance and aquaplaning resistance.
The Goodyear IntelliGrip concept tire is designed to communicate with autonomous vehicle control systems, sensing road surface and weather conditions for improved driving safety and performance.
- Senses road conditions: Thanks to its advanced sensor technology and specially designed tread, the concept tire can sense many road conditions, including both surface and weather conditions.
- Active-wear technology: The IntelliGrip also uses advanced activewear technology to assess the condition of the tire and the vehicle.
- Custom algorithms: Goodyear-developed algorithms account for variables such as inflation pressure and tire temperature.
- Adapting to road conditions: When the tire senses a rainy or slippery road surface, the autonomous vehicle will adapt its speed. Additionally, the tire can shorten the stopping distance, provide a better cornering response, optimize stability and even support collision prevention systems.
- Technology adaption: Goodyear is working with a number of vehicle manufacturers to further adapt this technology to their needs, enhancing connectivity with features such as Electronic Stability Control Systems, Brake Control Systems and Suspension Control Systems.
Although these tires are future concepts, Zekoski says they represent an essential aspect of Goodyear’s innovation strategy and its vision for smart and safe mobility.