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New car tyre can never be punctured or go flat – Is this the future?

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An innovative new car tyre has been designed which never goes flat and can’t be punctured. Michelin has developed an airless car tyre for passneger vehicle dubbed the Uptis Prototype (or “Unique Punctureproof Tire System”). The tyre maker partnered with GM in a joint research agreement to validate the prototype tyre with the ambition to introduce it on passenger cars by as early as 2024. Testing of the tyre has begun on cars such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and later this year real-world test using this technology will take place in the real world on a test fleet of these cars in Michigan.

Being completely airless boosts a number of benefits for the driver as it can remove certain safety problems such as flat tyres and blowouts.

It will also benefit from environmental savings in replacement tyres or spare tyre production.

The tyre forms part of Michelin’s VISION concept which was presented at the Movin’On Summit in 2017 which has four main pillars: airless, connected, 3D-printed and 100% sustainable (entirely renewable or bio-sourced materials).

Florent Menegaux, chief executive officer for Michelin Group: “Uptis demonstrates that Michelin’s vision for a future of sustainable mobility is clearly an achievable dream.

“Through work with strategic partners like GM, who share our ambitions for transforming mobility, we can seize the future today.”

Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, global purchasing and supply chain, General Motors: “General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology.

“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.”

The tyre maker also states that it could be useful for passenger cars of the future when cars are autonomous and need little to no maintenance.

Eric Vinesse, executive vice president, research and development, Group Michelin (who revealed Uptis at the Movin’On Summit): “The Uptis Prototype demonstrates Michelin’s capacity for innovation — in both the mastery of these high-tech materials, and also the development approach in close collaboration with GM, which validates our Vision concept as a roadmap for innovation.

“Uptis represents progress toward Michelin’s vision for tomorrow’s mobility, and also embodies our commitment to a better, sustainable mobility for all.”

It uses ground-breaking improvements in architecture and composite materials which enable the car’s weight at road-going speeds.

According to Michelin, it has the potential to make significant environmental savings.

It states that approximately 200 million tyres worldwide are scrapped prematurely every year as a result of punctures, damage from road hazards or improper air pressure that causes uneven wear.

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