One of the largest tire manufacturers in the US recently announced new prototypes in tire design we may see in the near future. These tires not only look futuristically awesome but also have some neat features.
The new tire technology being rolled out will revolutionize the way we drive. Goodyear has focused their development on an array of different features, from generating energy to tailoring the smoothness of a ride. This could be the next innovation for the automotive industry.
Goodyear’s newest prototype tire, known as BH-01, can generate electricity from everyday use, such as rolling or turning. This energy could be fed back into the battery of electric or hybrid vehicles. While this sounds promising, we’re not sure how much voltage will be generated. Despite the uncertainties, the concept of recovering energy is a step in the right direction. It reduces temperatures and cuts down on overall cost.
The Triple Feature
There also is a triple tube tire that has three tubes with an integrated pump. So it can actually adjust tire pressure for different road conditions. These modes include:
Eco/Safety: All three tubes inflated fully for the best economy performance.
Sporty: This increases center pressure and lowers sides to improve handling at speeds.
Wet Traction: This mode lowers center pressure to affectively allow a groove in the center to channel water away and diminish chances of hydroplaning.
This could be really interesting to see in the world of racing sports like rally where car tires make a big difference depending on road conditions. This technology would be perfect to add to luxury cars that currently may only have suspension adjustments. But with great features comes great expenses. This will probably drastically increase tire costs.
Interesting future, but what about today?
These all sound like great directions, where we could see better handling and energy recovery to improve the way we drive. But we can learn some lessons from the tires above, too, and apply it to current tread and tire technology.
Why are tires so important?
Tires can affect just about anything you plan to do with your vehicle, from road conditions to mileage. It’s important to pick the right tire for the job. Size and pressure will change how your tire performs, from high pressure for greater economy to low pressure for more off-road traction. High profile tires will absorb more energy when hitting rocks, and might also allow you to cross a river without getting your feet wet, whereas low profile tires will put you closer to the ground which improves handling turns and lessens the chance of rollovers.
What about the tread?
Tread patterns can help deflect water, scoop mud and snow, or just be smooth rubber to give you the most traction at the drag strip. Keep in mind there is no perfect tire for everything. Before picking a tire, try to determine where you’ll be driving the most. In some cases you might even want two sets of tires if you live in places with 3 months of snow. Tire patterns can make a big difference, my stock ranger truck tires slide around in the rain, and I can spin my tires all the way up my driveway. While fun, it’s not exactly safe. Simply upgrading to all-terrain tires, makes a big difference and I can even corner safely on slick roads.
The Future of Driving
New advancements are being made every day in the automotive industry, and we have seen it clearly with electric and hybrid cars. It is only a matter of time before we see tires making gains as well. Goodyear’s energy saving features will definitely add miles to our drive and, hopefully, the new triple feature will add miles to our tires life expectancy.
Where do you see the future of cars going? Let us at Newegg know what you wish companies would develop with their tires. Would these advancements make you upgrade your current wheels? We’d like to hear what you have to say.