General Motors is testing a new type of tire that does not need air. So it is impossible to be bored. The product’s prototype is called a unique system of puncture-proof tires (Uptis, the acronym in English). Michelin developed this prototype. If the tests are successful, GM plans to start using the Uptis in their passenger cars from 2024.
At first glance, the system does not differ much from the traditional product. But, looking closely, it is possible to perceive its internal structure. To meet the need for compressed air, the new tire contains more rubber inside. This forms fins that behave like springs and adjust flexibly as the pressure comes from the outside. This feature imparts resistance to the tire. And since it does not need air filling, the tire becomes immune to perforations.
The two companies have already begun discussing the advantages of the pit-proof tire over conventional. According to Michelin, about 200 million tires are discarded every year, worldwide. The reasons is premature wear due to disbalance, bore holes and damage from traffic accidents.
Uptis, besides being immune to perforations, uses materials that make it more resistant. The fact that it does not contain air also makes it indifferent to explosions. This means that in the long term there would be a marked decrease in the disposal of this type of tire. However, since its interior consumes much more rubber than ordinary products, the impact on the environment could be much higher in the period of adoption.
We can expect GM to test the latest Uptis prototype as early as 2019 in a fleet of stand-alone vehicles. This would be the real reason for the project to be out of the way. Since fully independent cabs will not be able to replace punctured tires, for example.