Leading US magazine “Time” has selected Michelin’s Vision concept tyre as one of the ’25 Best inventions of 2017’. The tyre earned this distinction on the basis of its airless structure, use of recycled materials, and its 3D printed treads, which can be altered based on the road conditions without changing the tyre itself.
Commenting on the Vision concept tyre being selected for the list, Terry Gettys, global head of research and development for the Michelin Group, said that on behalf of Michelin and the team of designers and engineers who were involved in the development of the Vision concept, he was honored to get this recognition from the editors at Time Magazine.
He added, “We believe the Vision concept is as beautiful as the natural world that inspires it, combining multiple technologies that together project the course for Michelin’s innovation in the years ahead. The ideas presented in the Vision concept have taken hold among vehicle designers, demonstrating a feasible vision of how the tire can provide essential contributions to sustainable mobility in the future.”
Michelin launched the Vision concept tyre earlier this year at Michelin’s Movin’On summit for sustainable mobility in Montréal. It comines four new innovative technologies: airless, organic, rechargeable and connected.
Airless: The Vision concept is essentially an airless tyre-and-wheel assembly, which represents a significant advance over Michelin’s own Michelin X Tweel Airless Radial. The Michelin Tweel was chosen for Time’s ‘Best Inventions’ list in 2005 and is now available on a commercial basis the in North American market for specific industrial and low-speed applications.
Organic: The Vision concept tyre is made from materials that are organic, bio-sourced, renewable and easily recycled for other applications.
Rechargeable: In the age of sustainability and electric vehicles, the Vision Concept Tyre can be ‘recharged’ on demand with a 3D-printed tread. Depending on the driver’s mobility needs, the tyre can be customized with biodegradable materials in garages equipped with 3D-printing kiosks. Such a rechargeable tyre could last for the entire lifetime of a vehicle.
Connected: The Vision concept tyre comprises a structure that is embedded with sensors which are capable of detecting road conditions, maintenance requirements, adherence, and other variables that can be communicated to the vehicle, or to infrastructure networks on the smart roadways of the future.
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