Goodyear used the Geneva Motor show to debut the Goodyear Aero concept tire which can help a vehicle to fly as well as roll.
The tire has a ring of fan blades positioned around a static, hub-less loop. We might expect the loop to rotate but it does not. Instead, there is a joint set inside the top of the loop which is connected to the car or what is termed as the passenger cell through the use of an articulating arm. When the car is in flying mode, the fan blades turn like the spokes on a wheel. The blades are sturdy and strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle. The outer surface of the wheel sports a flexible, airless structure that is firm enough to support the vehicle when it is in normal driving mode.
In the flight mode, the same outer structure has enough strength to tolerate the rotational forces of flight. The tires incorporate A.I. to help decide whether flight or travel by road is more appropriate for reaching the destination faster. According to Goodyear, the Aero concept tire does this navigation processing and prepares for flight mode by means of a magnetic force that makes the car rotate the Aero wheels up so that the wheels are positioned parallel to the road, next to the car. The fan blades then spin fast enough to create lift. The car can take to flight from a standstill by lifting one wheel at a time, or on the move by lifting two wheels to become. In essence, the vehicle will use full on tilt-rotor movement effectively to move in a manner similar to that of a drone.
The Goodyear Aero concept tire also has fiber optic sensors inside for the dual purpose of monitoring the Aero’s integrity throughout and monitoring road conditions. The embedded A.I. comprises both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication modules which can help decide when to fly and help to anticipate any potential tire-related issues before they escalate into major problems that can affect the functioning of the tire or the vehicle.
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