The present type of tires we have today is alright. It does its job well both in keeping cars rolling and the passengers safe. With technological advances however, it’s just natural for us to look for better, more practical tires.
One of the forward thinking companies that is making a crack at better vehicle tires is Sumitomo. They were able to develop airless tires which is composed of a plastic aluminum hub with rubber encircling it. This band of rubber supports the interior of the tire and Sumimoto is aiming to make them available to hybrid and electric vehicles starting in the year 2020, hopefully.
In fact, in his interview with Bloomberg, Sumitomo Rubber’s department head for the 5 year airless tire project Wako Iwamura, says that the target to make these tires available to the mainstream is by year 2020.
The tire maker is also developing Gyroblade tires where big rubber spokes provide connection to the center hub for support. But what makes the new concept of Sumimoto airless tires more interesting than the Gyroblade is its capability to lessen 30% of a tire’s weight. And with the current development phase, it is expected that spare tires can be totally replaced by these airless tires by the year 2025.
Toyota is looking into new tire technology
Last week, at the Tokyo Moto Show gave us a lot of forward looking concept cars. One of the big car makers to showcase airless tires is Toyota with their Fine-Comfort Ride concept – an amazingly styled MPV that sported airless tires. Indeed, Toyota has been looking for new ways to get advanced tires, those that will replace the traditional tires as we know it.
The same with many other car manufacturers, Toyota wants to save weight and lessen the resistance in rolling. This meant that they have to come up with narrower tires by decreasing a bit of fraction of 1 mpg whenever they can manage it. But the most basic component of a tire can never be compromised as they still have to be filled with air regardless of which size they come in. Hence, they are working together with tire makers to come up with airless tires that will replace spares and eventually, the main tires of every vehicle.