Isn’t it disappointing when you see that your car has got a flat tyre? It is the most troubling and frustrating feeling to encounter a flat. You are all set with your plans and a flat tyre could possibly ruin all of them. A flat tyre comes with the hassle of changing it before you get going.No one wants this hassle to come their way but there is no way out. Tyres are prone to be punctured until they are on the roads. Puncture-proof tyres are all we want!
What if I said that Puncture-proof tyres have been developed? You won’t believe me right? But it’s the truth. In the near future, we will have puncture-proof tyres. By puncture-proof, I mean that they will not have any air losses as they won’t already be having any air in them!
Perplexed? Don’t worry you won’t be if you read further!
Michelin in association with General Motors has developed a new tyre technology. Michelin’s Puncture Proof tyres won’t use air at all. These tyres are completely free from blowouts. According to Michelin, around 20% of tyres (200 million tyres) scrapped annually can be blamed on blowouts, or irregular wear caused by drivers running the wrong pressures. This leads to a large number of resources being wasted on a worldwide basis annually. By introducing this tyre technology, Michelin aims at cutting down the pollution caused from scraping. Furthermore, this will save the wastage of the raw material used to produce the tyres.
Also, if tyres get blown out at high speeds, it can be dangerous for the passengers and fellow road vehicles as well. Considering all these things, Michelin in association with GM has come out with UPTIS. This would be a breakthrough in the automotive industry. This innovation will prove to be extremely beneficial to masses in the near future.
The “Unique Puncture Proof Tire System” abbreviated as UPTIS is a system which utilizes composite materials and advanced architecture which helps it to bear the load of the car without having any compressed air inside it. In the current tests, UPTIS has emerged to be a really successful approach towards the future that Michelin and GM hope to have.
Florent Menegaux, chief executive officer for Michelin Group said, “Uptis demonstrates that Michelin’s vision for a future of sustainable mobility is clearly an achievable dream. Through work with strategic partners like GM, who share our ambitions for transforming mobility, we can seize the future today.”
Michelin’s puncture-proof tyres seem to be a really promising technology for the future. This can benefit the users by saving time which could have been wasted by flat tyres and blowouts.
But there is no innovation that doesn’t face challenges. Material fatigue and sagging is the major challenge that this technology would face. The road tests have been miraculously well but we are yet to see how it does on a long term basis being subjected to continuous loads. Also, the shock-absorbing capacities, braking, acceleration, and driving dynamics need to be sorted out before the UPTIS is finalized for commercial production. Price is obviously the major key factor which will decide how well the UPTIS is accepted by the masses and performs in the market.
At present, the UPTIS is just a prototype but if things go as planned, we will soon see these on the roads. Michelin plans to commercialize the production of UPTIS by 2024. These tyres will be compatible with all types of vehicles whether EVs or autonomous.
We all hope to see this breakthrough on the roads soon but if you want to catch a glimpse, watch this puncture-proof tyre in action here.