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Goodyear's Aero concept tire lets autonomous flying cars move seamlessly from ground to...

By Cal Jeffrey · 6 replies
Mar 6, 2019
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  1. As Uber and others continue developing prototypes and concepts for flying taxis, at least one tire company is thinking outside the box on a way to transition from ground to air and back again.

    This week at the Geneva Auto Show, Goodyear unveiled its “Aero" concept tire. The wheel is designed to rotate vertically when the car is on the ground and horizontally while flying. The Aero is made from a flexible material and does not need inflating. The bulk of the tire is made up of fins between the hub and the tread. These fins act as propellers as the car transitions, two wheels at a time, between travel modes.

    “With mobility companies looking to the sky for the answer to the challenges of urban transport and congestion, our work on advanced tire architectures and materials led us to imagine a wheel that could serve both as a traditional tire on the road and as a propulsion system in the sky,” said Goodyear CTO Chris Helsel.

    The wheel uses a magnetic propulsion system at the hub to help it achieve rotational speeds fast enough to lift the vehicle and passengers. Goodyear also says fiber optic sensors and a built-in AI monitor road conditions and tire wear. The AI could also provide vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication to better assess traveling conditions and recommend a course of action — allowing a vehicle to adapt to a flying or driving mode.

    Helsel emphasized that the tire is only a concept. While Goodyear is currently working on some of the technology incorporated into the Aero, like its non-pneumatic structure, AI, and sensors, the concept is mostly useful for fueling innovations.

    “Goodyear's concepts are meant to trigger a debate on the tires and transport technologies for a new mobility ecosystem,” he said.

    As such, don't expect to see Aero tires released anytime soon if at all.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,415   +2,961

    Those things look like coffins on wheels.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,156   +1,411

    that doesn't matter... half the reason they probably do stuff like this is for the free press.

    And whatever will someday be released to market will probably be a result of a lot of knowledge gained while making this.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,300   +3,707

    Actually, they already have these tires for everything out there EXCEPT for automobiles. I drove an off road vehicle with them in the fall and they did amazingly well; my only disappointment is the lack of availability for cars and trucks. They are big enough for them but the issue appears to be the mileage you can get out of a set, still, many tire makers are developing their own and I would not be surprised to see them start showing up for cars and light trucks in the 2020 time frame ......
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,177   +1,595

    Interesting concept. I will be more excited if they make a prototype.
  6. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,454   +464

    The "Tweel" has been around for a long time. Excessive noise and some vibration issues at higher speeds are the main reasons they haven't been transitioned successfully into passenger cars yet. Most industrial or military applications where they are used are for low speed situations.

    But, this particular Tweel design isn't a typical one like the designs out there in use now. The noise issues will still be present in this design. And just having a Tweel design with the structural ribbing of the internal "cells" of the tire rotated at an angle and shaped so that they would provide directional thrust when spun at high speeds is interesting enough. But to also design for the walls of those cells (which are normally just under limited compression and specific bending forces) to be able to withstand the additional forces exerted on the face of the cell walls, that'd be some fun engineering. Will be interesting if they ever do anything beyond just the concept with it - love to see a practical design actually function, even if it's just a concept vehicle.
    TempleOrion and erickmendes like this.
  7. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 567   +246

    They would make more money right now making a Deus Ex like game from these concept art lol
    And contrary to Cyberpunk 2077, let us drive the flying cars whethever we want.

    On a side note, Goodyear future looks really black (everything is black in this video...)... Maybe that's what you would expect from a tire company.
    TempleOrion likes this.

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