Michelin has introduced VISION, an airless concept tire made of bio-sourced and biodegradable materials. The tire manufacturer unveiled its design last week at the Movin’ On summit for sustainable mobility in Montréal.
VISION is both a tire and a wheel and features an interior architecture inspired by the natural cellular design of coral. It has a hard center that gradually softens toward the edges and is impervious to blowouts or explosions. The tire is embedded with sensors that monitor its condition and report it back to users via a mobile app. Drivers can then use the app to schedule a “recharge” of the tire’s tread, or have the tread updated using a 3D printer as shown in the video below.
The VISION project was launched in late 2016 and looked to develop “the mobility of the future,” combining converging technologies and excellent environmental characteristics. Michelin grouped 90 survey participants into four panels and questioned them about their relationship with mobility. The panels stressed the need for safe, sustainable, clean and environmentally responsible tires, leading to the VISION concept.
Michelin has produced commercial airless tire/wheels, or tweels, for applications such as lawnmowers and golf carts. For now, automotive tweels remain a concept, and Michelin says it will be at least 10 years before VISION is brought to market.