Hankook organizes an event after every two years that is known as Hankook Tyre Design Challenge, calling out university students to submit their concepts for tyres that could be used for future vehicles. The concepts are required to cater to several factors, which include reduction in raw material, rolling efficiency, recyclability and ‘adherence to certain performance targets’.
The 2014 challenge had Hankook partner up with the University of Design, Engineering and Business in Pforzheim in Germany. The students from the course of Master of Arts for Transportation Design created and worked on concepts for the whole semester. The winning concepts were announced at the Essen Motor Show.
The concept featured is the one that has been designed for use in Dakar-style resistance race. In this race, vehicles are required to tackle on and off-road terrains. The design makes use of an array of hexagonal blocks that are capable of interlocking instead of using a single continuous piece of rubber.
When the vehicle is being driven on road, the blocks stay snuggled with one another and thus, create a tread that is smooth and offers low rolling resistance. However, when the vehicle goes off-road, these blocks spread apart causing a knobby tread and offers more rolling resistance and better traction.
Since each block comes with its own air, in case of a block getting punctured, it can be replaced on the spot without having to replace the entire tyre. Watch the video below and let us know what you think in the comments section!