Goodyear Tests First Airless 3D Printed Tires
19 January 2021: For the past three years, Goodyear and Local Motors have tested an Olli shuttle 3D printed non-pneumatic (airless) tires reaching several performance targets. Furthermore, the urban transportation environment provides an ideal testing scenario for the alternative tire architecture given its lower speed and less variable travel paths. In fact, this latest testing phase in Jacksonville, FA, USA will reveal more about Non-Pneumatic Tires (NPT) than during the last few years combined, including how they can offer sustainable, maintenance-free and longer-lasting options for electric shuttle vehicles.
Goodyear Senior Program Manager of Non-Pneumatic Tires Michael Rachita explained that “as mobility evolves, we feel that tires can transform the way we move and alternative airless architectures are ideal, particularly in the emerging autonomous transportation environment. This is an important milestone as we look to advance mobility today and as we look to introduce the first completely sustainable and maintenance-free tires by the end of the decade.”
In 2018, Goodyear followed with its Oxygene concept tire designed to support cleaner and more convenient urban mobility. These seemingly futuristic tires offer several advantages and solve the risks of flat tires and blowouts. However, they are still just concept tires and the companies behind them expect to see a complete switch from consumers in decades. Any 3D printed, airless system designed with biomaterials has a lot of potential in the cars of the future.