As carmakers busy themselves preparing for a driverless future, French tire manufacturer Michelin is developing a tire that will also adapt to a driverless landscape.
Called Vision, the tires will be airless, biodegradable and 3D printed using materials such as wood, bamboo, used metals, cardboard and more. Additionally, the tires will be equipped with sensors that will obtain data about the automobile’s function and performance.
As design possibilities abound, drivers can anticipate an emphasis shift from how the car handles to how the interior will accommodate the driverless passengers with considerations such as removing the steering wheel and adding tires that allow for smoother travel, ensuring the comfort of the passengers.
“This concept vision is a dream for an ideal solution for the long-term,” said Terry Gettys, Michelin’s executive VP for research and development. “We’re confident you can replace a tire-and-wheel combination with a unique structure, carry the load, provide good comfort and noise, and we’re very encouraged that can be the solution of the future.”
Michelin hopes to bring the new tire to the market by 2023. For more information, watch the accompanying video.