New generation airless tires from Michelin and General Motors
28.03.2022
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New generation airless tires from Michelin and General Motors

Technology in the automotive industry does not stand still. Like mushrooms after rain, new concepts and technological solutions appear to change our lives for the better. One such solution is the development of a new type of tire from Michelin in conjunction with GM. We are talking about a completely different approach, when instead of one air chamber we have a tire with many small stiffening ribs inside. Due to the combination of different types of materials and alloys, its properties are not inferior to the pneumatic tire, while the advantages become clear. This technology has been tested and approved for use on the new Chevrolet Bolt EV models, which will be the first production vehicles to use Uptis technology tires. The novelty will appear before the general public for a couple of years. President of Michelin North America - Alexis Garsin gave an interview to CNN Business reporters and shared his opinion on this matter. He said that already in the next 3-5 years serial passenger cars will be equipped with puncture-resistant tires. Their technology is being developed with engineers from General Motors and the Chevrolet Bolt will be the first car in the world to be equipped with new generation tires. Interestingly, despite such loud statements, Chevrolet has not yet commented on this issue and is limited to a rather vague wording - "we are working on a wide range of electric vehicles." If all goes according to Michelin and GM's plan, the more than 130-year history of classic air tires may be close to its end. Strange as it may seem, it was Michelin who was the quality flagship in the production of pneumatic tires and became one of the first to achieve significant success in this direction. As for airless tires, there are still a number of problems for engineers to solve. For example, a pneumatic tire can regulate air pressure depending on the road surface, while in an airless tire it will be much more difficult to achieve the same tire behavior. Nevertheless, the developers are doing everything to get the same quality characteristics as pneumatic tires, but in a different way. So, the Uptis tire has many flexible stiffening ribs that are open and blown with air from all sides. The tire material is rubber, fiberglass reinforced and resin. Michelin plans to add a real-time "tire condition monitoring" option to monitor tire wear. Well, let's see what we get in the end. Because right now, Michelin only installs airless X Tweel tires on lawn mowers and ATVs. We wish them success in solving the problems that they have to solve.