The Goodyear AERO – A Concept Tire for Autonomous, Flying Cars

The Goodyear AERO – A Concept Tire for Autonomous, Flying Cars

Image courtesy Goodyear

Technology has come a long way since the first application of the wooden wheel in 4500–3300 BCE i.e. the Neolithic Age.

Since the first patented pneumatic tire by Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson in 1847, we’ve had everything else in between up until the 21st Century, which included white wall, radial, low profile, off-road, snow, all terrain, run on flats, to mention but a few, tires in circulation.

Now we have the Goodyear AERO Concept Tire.

“For over 120 years Goodyear has obsessively pursued innovations and inventions, partnering with the pioneers driving change and discovery in transport,” said Chris Helsel, Chief Technology Officer at Goodyear. “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.”

On, March 5, 2019, the Goodyear AERO concept was introduced in GENEVA. It was presented as a two-in-one tire designed for autonomous and flying cars of the future.

Some of the features presented by Goodyear for the AERO concept tire includes several innovative features:

  • Multimodal Design: The AERO tire will function as a tilt-rotor concept for flying cars and traditional road orientated cars, thus enabling the cars to transition seamlessly from the road to the sky.
  • Non-Pneumatic Structure: The concept will utilize the spokes and non-pneumatic tire structure, which will be flexible enough for road usage, as well as aerial maneuverability in the form of rotation and vertical lift requirements.
  • Magnetic Propulsion: With the AERO concept a magnetic force will be used to provide frictionless propulsion. This would enable the desired rotation to provide land and air speeds for propulsion.
  • Optical Sensing: The structural integrity of the tire i.e. road conditions and tire wear, will be monitored by fiber optic sensors.
  • Artificial Intelligence: With the assistance of AI technology, the AERO Concept tire will be able to produce data from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication enabling the car to alternate between flying or driving modes.

Keeping in mind that the AERO tire is purely a concept, the Chief Technology Office had this to say: “Goodyear’s concepts are meant to trigger a debate on the tires and transport technologies for a new mobility ecosystem.”

Bianca Van der Watt

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