Michelin Tire Manufacturer To Launch its Airless Tire Prototype By 2014

Michelin Tire Manufacturer To Launch its Airless Tire Prototype By 2014

Michelin tire manufacturer Tuesday presented its airless tire prototype, in partnership with General Motors, which it hopes to market as early as 2024.

This is the bet that Michelin has launched. The tire manufacturer presented Tuesday in Montreal a prototype of a new generation of puncture-proof tires developed in partnership with General Motors, which it plans to market as early as 2024.

This airless tire, an unprecedented technology that eliminates the risk of punctures, should bring more serenity to motorists while offering “potentially huge environmental benefits,” said Eric Vinesse, Director of Research and Development of Michelin Group, at a summit dedicated to sustainable mobility, Movin’On. “It’s a really revolutionary product,” he said.

He continued “Today, about 200 million tires have to be thrown every year” in the world after a puncture or because of improper pressure, he said at a press conference . “It’s the equivalent in weight of 200 Eiffel towers”.

The prototype, dubbed Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System), uses a new technology based on composite materials, which allows performance similar to traditional tires, according to its designers. “You have all the elements of a Michelin tire, without the inconvenience,” commented the new Michelin group president, Florent Menegaux.

This prototype is currently being tested on Chevrolet Bolt EV of the American giant General Motors. “General Motors, which is a development partner, is helping us with its tests to finalize the development of this type of product for a vehicle,” he explained.

Photo: Steve Fecht for General Motors)

Photo: Steve Fecht for General Motors)

To be able to launch this product by 2024, “we need at this stage of development to have a car manufacturer which accompanies us and which commits itself to make all the necessary tests”, according to Florent Menegaux. This new puncture-proof tire technology also targets future autonomous vehicles, according to him. “An autonomous vehicle will not support the puncture, it will not support the immobilization and this tire will answer all these questions,” said the president of Michelin.