Goodyear Aims to Disrupt the Wheel with a Smart, Spherical Tire
【Summary】Called Eagle-360, the revolutionary smart tire is a spherical-shaped component with extended mobility features. Goodyear also showcased a smart sensor and monitoring platform to go along with the round tires.
The design of the traditional tire has not changed much in the last 50 years. From a durability standpoint, leading tire manufacturing companies, like Goodyear, has improved the lifespan of the vehicular component during this period – but that's about it. The global brand doesn't intend on taking a backseat, while automakers modernize their cars with self-driving technology. Goodyear also has plans to re-invent the wheel (literally), which was revealed at this year's Geneva International Motor Show.
Called Eagle-360, the revolutionary smart tire is a spherical-shaped component with extended mobility features. Goodyear also showcased a smart sensor and monitoring platform to go along with the round tires. According to the press release, the units are designed to be used with autonomous vehicles, offering greater response times on the road, while taking a smarter approach to tire management (more on this later).
"What that means for Goodyear, as evidenced at the show, is coming out with new concepts that will make tires perform better and interact with increasingly smart and connected vehicles," explained Dan Shingler from Rubber & Plastics News.
The Eagle Has Landed
The Eagle-360, at this time, is still a concept. Goodyear sees a need to focus on upgrading maneuverability features in self-driving cars to make them safer. Unlike today's tires, this one is attached to the vehicle via magnetic levitation. This allows the car to swerve or turn without forcing the vehicle to make a sudden change in direction. For example, if a vessel wanted to switch lanes, it would move the entire vehicle – without turning – into the lane. To imagine this maneuver, try thinking about the way you move your mouse on the computer. You don't turn the entire device to make the cursor move left or right. Instead it glides smoothly while maintaining its forward-facing position.
The threads on the tire are designed to change texture, depending on the conditions of the road. When driving over water, the surface turns soft to accommodate aquaplaning resistance, resulting in increased control. In everyday conditions, the tire stays dry and sturdy.
Goodyear wants its tires to interact with and be an integral part of autonomous vehicles. To cater to such platforms, the brand launched the IntelliGrip concept tire. The unit communicates with other sensing and ADAS components mounted on the vehicle to help predict weather and road conditions. Custom algorithms streamline the managing aspects of owning a tire. The passive algorithms monitor inflation pressure and tire pressure, as well as wear and tear. It even goes as far as ensuring the threads on the tire wears down evenly.
The company confirmed that IntelliGrip could work with the following vehicular systems: Electronic Stability Control Systems, Brake Control Systems and Suspension Control Systems.
"By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road," said Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear's senior vice president and chief technical officer. "Goodyear's concept tires play a dual role in that future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and testbeds for next-generation technologies."
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
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