Written by Kfir Kedem – July 19, 2021
Reviewed by Asaf Kedem
Local Motors is making headlines again regarding the application of innovative wheel technology. This time, the company is part of a partnership with well-known tire manufacturer, Goodyear. Goodyear has been working on airless tires (non-pneumatic tires, also known as NPT) for several years. Now, the two companies have come together to apply NPT to the real-world application of autonomous urban transport.
Airless tires are already used in some applications, such as for demolition vehicles and some bicycles. The main advantage is that with no air pressure needed, there is no risk of a puncture. As a result, the maintenance costs become much lower. In fact, Goodyear stated that the goal is to offer a maintenance-free tire by 2030.
Auto Trendy’s take:
Although airless tires have a higher rolling resistance (more force is required to drive at the same speed as a car with a regular tire) and provide less suspension abilities, it is interesting to see developments being made to improve these issues. Goodyear is starting off with a solution for a vehicle that weighs around 2655 kg (5850 lbs.), but if the company continues development in the same direction, other parts of the automotive industry could possibly enjoy the benefits of such a maintenance-less tire in the future.