Flying cars and holographic images have long been presented by the Hollywood as future of the human race. While the flying cars are far from mass production, we can still enjoy a smooth, comfy ride in the conventional cars for which we need a good suspension and good quality tyres. The rubber tyre technology has come a long way since its inception but we still have a long way to go since the current tyre technology often fails us due to bad road conditions and stray nails which is why a lot of tyres don’t even reach the end of their life.
From smart spherical tyres with AI sensors to the airless and the super elastic tyres made from shape memory alloys to cope with the needs of tomorrow, here is what future might have in store for us.
Smart Spherical Tyre
With all the hype surrounding autonomous vehicles and their evolving AI systems, the one thing that had remained constant in these vehicles were the car tyres. A recent breakthrough in the tyre technology could mean the end of regular tyres in autonomous vehicles. The smart spherical tyre is highly practical due to its incredible maneuverability as it can roll and rotate in many directions. The smart sensors placed strategically inside the tyre collect data ranging from road conditions to the tyres tread wear and feed it to the vehicle’s own AI system which allows it to automatically reposition the tyres to optimize wear and extend mileage. Once the treadwear reaches the legal limit of 1.6 mm, you may go ahead and change them.
Furthermore, the tyres are connected to the vehicle through magnetic levitation allowing it to move sideways which would make going back and forth for parking a thing of the past.
When was the last time you had to scrap a good tyre due to punctures and uneven tread wear? Over 200 million tyres are scrapped each year around the world as a result of bursts and tyre punctures. This has a huge impact on the environment not just because the scrapped tyres are often left to be decomposed out in the open and emit harmful chemicals into the soil during decomposition but also because of the energy required to produce the new ones. Thankfully, all this might change soon due to the new tyre concepts that have flexible spokes on the inside and don’t require the compressed air to lift the car’s weight.
The new airless tyres involve architecture and materials that can fully support the car’s weight at the highway speeds. They would also require limited maintenance due to their flexible and airless nature which would translate into the longer lifespan and high cost effectiveness.
Super Elastic Tyres
Leave it to NASA to come up with futuristic designs and materials that can conquer earth and the planets beyond. Made from shape memory alloys, NASA’s super elastic tyres have evolved from the spring tyres. The difference is, they are capable of undergoing high strains since they don’t have any complex internal structures and can withstand more deformation than any other non-pneumatic tyre. This means that they would not just last for a long without any maintenance but are also perfect for various terrains.
While the current tyre technology delivers on comfort and mobility, we still need to move onto more sustainable solutions so the cars of tomorrow have technologically advanced, ecofriendly tyres. From introducing run flat tyres to funding valuable researches, Continental group has always been on the forefront in the quest to invent futuristic tyre technologies to ensure a clean and green future for our generations to come.