On June 14, Michelin debuted a new concept tire named Vision that it claims is airless, “rechargeable”, connected, easy to customize and is all-organic. The tire is essentially a wheel that is integrated with a tire. Michelin chose to unveil its new concept tire in Montreal at the company’s global summit for sustainable mobility, Movin’on, which is the revamped version of the Michelin Challenge Bibendum. The concept tire was made as the outcome of an extensive process and made in collaboration with users from bio-sourced and biodegradable materials.
Commenting on Vision Terry Gettys, Michelin’s executive vice president of research and development said that it is inspired by nature and sports a very light, efficient structure. The all-organic nature of the tire is highlighted by the fact that some of the materials used in its construction include paper, wood, molasses, bamboo, tin cans, tire chips, cloth, used metals, cardboard, electronic waste, natural rubber, plastic waste, hay, and orange zest.
It is now possible for designers to be very precise about the amount of rubber used in tires, thanks to 3D printing. Thus, the life of the tire can be extended depending on the requirements. The tread design can also be optimized based on the mobility needs of the user and the thickness of the tire can be reduced to make it more fuel efficient.
There is no possibility of tire blowouts or explosions as the Vision is an airless tire. It has a solid structure that can support the weight of the vehicle without any compromise when it comes to the safety and comfort of the occupants. The tire’s architecture is based on an alveolar structure that was developed through advanced modeling, solid in the center, flexible on the outside.
The Vision can be labelled as a connected tire as it is equipped with sensors that can provide users with real-time data regarding the condition of the tire. Through Michelin’s mobile app, it is now possible to make an appointment to change the tire’s destination, depending on the user’s needs. A change in usage for example regarding the weather in which the tire is to be used (for example, snowy condition) can be carried out through 3D printing.
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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