Michelin Uptis airless tyre announced, debut by 2024
Tired of patching punctured tyres? Well, Michelin is close to solving that problem. Introducing the Michelin Uptis (short for Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System), an airless mobility solution for passenger vehicles that does away with the risk of flat tyres and blowouts.
Other benefits of the Uptis includes the elimination of regular maintenance and checks for damages, which ultimately increases safety. Michelin says that Uptis is able to support the vehicle’s weight by using flexible rubber composites with proprietary fibreglass resin, and it fits on traditional wheels.
To test them, the tyre manufacturer has appointed General Motors (GM) as its technical partner, and formed a joint research agreement to develop and validate Uptis. GM will initiate real-world testing of the Uptis Prototype on a Michigan test fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs later this year. The companies plan to introduce the airless tyres on passenger vehicles as early as 2024.
GM’s senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, Steve Kiefer regard the tyre as “breakthrough technology” that the company is “excited” to be part of. “Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners,” he said in a statement.
According to Michelin, about 20% of tyres are scrapped globally due to punctures and irregular wear. That’s roughly 200 million tyres a year, which equals the weight of 200 Eiffel Towers. The Uptis, should it make to production, will yield sustainability benefits that include the reduction of overall raw materials and energy used in tyre production. Do you prefer this over the Acorus flexible wheel system that was shown last year?
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