Some of the designs that were submitted as part of Hankook Tires’ Design Insight Forum might appear to be outlandish, but then there was a time when electric cars and automated cars were considered to be more in the realm of science fiction.
Mr Seung Hwa Suh, Vice Chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire said that The Design Insight Forum which was held at Hankook Technodome was truly meaningful as it showcased the work of highly imaginative and creative young designers with regard to future tire innovation. He said that Hankook Tire expects to create further synergies with these future leaders through the Design Insight Forum.
A total of 34 concepts were submitted as part of the Design Forum and of these five were selected as winners.These include the Flexup, the Magfloat, the Autobine, the Shiftrac and the iPlay. While these names may sound unfamiliar today, there is every chance that they could become a common sight on the roads of the future.
The Flexup is a single wheel that can move freely and can even be used to navigate stairs. Based on the concept of divided treads, the wheel expands and contracts easily and can handle corners and stairs with ease by using a tilting technique.
The ‘Magfloat’ is a device similar to a skateboard that instead of using wheels uses a magnetic field extension and rotation principle, thus allowing users to move at speeds of up to 12mph (20 km/h), ideal for navigating short distances.
The Autobine is essentially an autonomous bus comprising a main frame capable of expanding and contracting with tires that automatically attach and detach, depending on the number of passengers.
The Shiftrac is meant for police cars and is a wheel that moves as if skating. Using the Shiftrac, police cars can easily turn corners and make quick lane changes by pushing the wheel outwards.
iPlay is a one man device with two huge wheels that can help negotiate corners even at very high speeds. The wheel angle can be changes without losing speed in any way.
Currently, these ideas are just concepts, but they provide viewers with a preview of the direction that tire design can take in the future.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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