By on August 12, 2011

You know those things that you never thought you needed, but once you had them you realized you never wanted to live without them again? According to Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer, it’s time to get ready for another such technology:

“A tire that can maintain its own inflation is something drivers have wanted for many years. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging. This will become the kind of technological breakthrough that people will wonder how they ever lived without.”

Goodyear doesn’t know when its “Air Maintenance Technology” will make it to the streets, but thanks to funding from the US and Luxembourg governments, they’re making progress.

And when it hits, the AMT technology

will enable tires to remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps or electronics. All components of the AMT system, including the miniaturized pump, will be fully contained within the tire.

Goodyear figures that underinflated tires can cost 2.5-3.3% of efficiency, translating to about 12 cents per gallon at the pump. And with self-inflating technology, you’ll be able to realize those savings without having to regularly break out the pressure gauge and air pump. No word on costs yet, but if the price is right this could just become extremely popular. After all, who really stays on top of their tire pressure as well as they could?

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16 Comments on “Are You Ready For: The Self-Inflating Tire?...”

  • avatar

    Gotta be better than TPMS.

  • avatar

    I’m not surprised at the US funding as Washington will throw money at anything labeled ‘green’, but why the interest in Luxembourg?

  • avatar

    Ha! This was a plot device in Tomorrow Never Dies. Check it out at 2:03 into this vid:

  • avatar

    I have no doubt that Goodyear’s lobbyists are working overtime in our nation’s capital to ensure that this vital new safety technology is made mandatory on all new cars . . .

    PAX anybody???

  • avatar

    I liked an idea I saw a couple years ago, can’t remember where, but the tire was essentially just a bunch of inner ribs (very hard rubber I’m assuming) covered with a typical tread pattern. They looked really cool as they were shown in cross-section driving down the road.

  • avatar

    I’d like to see further development on research (conducted by Michelin, IIRC) on the non-pneumatic tire wherein the permanently-attached wheel does the flexing now done by the tire.

  • avatar

    Five years ago, when I was paying attention to tires, Goodyear had yet to figure out how to manufacture tires that were uniformly round and resistant to failures that would have been indicative of alien mischief were they to occur on anyone else’s tires. Goodyear shipped new high end tires that had been obviously shaved to mitigate out of round conditions, or that would drop circular chips of sidewall until they blew. Whatever is motivating this project, it isn’t concern for customers’ well being.

  • avatar

    I think this is something I read about last year. A fellow from over there invented a hollow tire bead with little one way valve flaps inside the bead. The rotation of the tire forces air through the valves into the tire interior. There is a calibrated pressure valve to maintain steady pressure. It is a lot like the roller pumps on heart/lung machines. Exquisitely simple and ingenious. The article further stated a major manufacturer was all over the new patent and looking to start production about now. I think it is a fabulous advancement.

  • avatar

    Simon Phoenix approves.

  • avatar

    “You know those things that you never thought you needed, but once you had them you realized you never wanted to live without them again?”

    Possessing self-inflating body parts I heartily and irrevocably agree with the qoted declarative statement.

  • avatar

    After all, who really stays on top of their tire pressure as well as they could?

    I expected some comments on this line. I guess I’ll be the first: ha ha!

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