For many years, the idea of puncture-proof tires has piqued people’s interest. Tire manufacturer Michelin claims it can eliminate flat tyres and punctures by developing a tire that does not require any air at all. The company has created a prototype called Uptis (Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System) that will refine in collaboration with GM over the following four years.
Michelin has been working on it since 2005, and after more than a decade of development, it is finally nearing completion. In keeping with its long-term goal of being more sustainable, the company tested its puncture-proof tires on an electric vehicle for the first time.
Globally, more than three billion tires are produced each year. Tires that have outlived their usefulness frequently wind up in landfills. They also have the potential to catch fire and emit hazardous gases into the atmosphere. Tires, like other man-made items, can be made more environmentally friendly by using naturally occurring materials. The second goal is to limit the number of incidents that cause wear and tear, leaving the tires useless. Michelin is employing both of these strategies to make its tires more environment-friendly in the future.
The company’s Vision Concept seeks to develop airless, rechargeable, connected, and long-lasting tires. The Unique Puncture-proof TIre System (UPTIS) is an airless tire that, due to its unique form, never gets punctured. UPTIS blends an aluminum wheel with a flexible load-bearing frame constructed of glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP), according to its Concept note. The company believes that using this design will maintain the performance of traditional Michelin tires.
To stimulate interest in the project, the corporation released a teaser in 2017. The video below shows how they look.
The company officially debuted the Uptis in public for the first time, allowing a handful of individuals to take the test drive.
“The truly distinctive structure of the MICHELIN Uptis prototype, or its ‘weirdness’ as we have often heard it called, really attracted the attention of many visitors and left a lasting impression on them,” said Cyrille Roget, Michelin Group Technical and Scientific Communications Director.
“It was an exceptional experience for us, and our greatest satisfaction came at the end of the demonstration when our passengers, who were admittedly a little wary at first, said they felt no difference compared with conventional tires.”
While we don’t yet know how much these tyres will cost, the company stated they plan to have them on the market by 2024.
These tyres will initially incorporate recycled plastic trash, but the firm plans to replace all tyre components with organic or recyclable materials over time.
This may be the first time a man has reinvented the wheel.