Goodyear is testing its airless tires on a Tesla Model 3, and they’re reportedly doing pretty well, according to this video from Mashable. The video stated that during testing, the tires performed admirable, hugging curves and navigating deftly around obstacles. The airless tires were able to do well while the Model 3 maintained impressive speeds. The idea is to pair Tesla vehicles and airless tires to support a larger and more sustainable vision.
The video noted that airless tires are immune to punctures, which means that when more of them are on the road, fewer tires end up in the scrapyard. In addition, as autonomous vehicles become more common, airless tires could become a game-changer since they are supposed to be maintenance-free.
In January 2022, Car and Driver reported that Goodyear revealed its sustainable tire concept and tested its new airless tire. The tire is made with 70% sustainable materials. The company began testing its airless tire on small delivery robots. This follows a goal that Goodyear set in 2020 to create a tire made from entirely sustainable materials by 2030. The prototype is the first step toward that goal. The materials will also help Goodyear rely less upon petroleum-based products.
The airless tire has been tested by Starship Technologies, which builds and operates a fleet of over 1,000 last-mile autonomous robots that deliver packages and food. Car and Driver noted that the airless tire has a goal of extending the tire life while decreasing maintenance for the fleet.
This isn’t the first time Goodyear’s airless tires have been tested on a Tesla Model 3. In November 2021, InsideEVs reported on this and noted that Goodyear’s intention is to develop the tires for EVs with a commercial launch by 2030. The article also included the following statement from Goodyear:
“As part of its commitment to enable mobility now and in the future, Goodyear has extended testing of its non-pneumatic, airless tires to high-performance electric vehicles.
“After successfully executing durability testing of non-pneumatic tires at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, Goodyear recently tested the alternative tire architecture at the company’s Akron Proving Grounds.”
We have reported on Goodyear’s green tire efforts for years as well. For example, in 2018, Tina Casey wrote about an effort to develop tires made from moss. Last year, I wrote about Goodyear teaming up with UFODrive, an all-digital, all-electric car rental company that is focused on improving EV fleet performance. “Goodyear and UFODrive will join forces to integrate their mobility solutions. This includes Goodyear’s intelligent tire monitoring system and proactive solutions suite as well as UFODrive’s advanced mobility software as a service platform,” I wrote. Just a few weeks ago, Tina Casey also wrote about Goodyear’s pursuit of soybean-based tires.
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