Goodyear unveiled two concept tires at this years Geneva Motor Show, tires which could prove crucial in getting self driving cars on our roads as soon as possible. Using technology within the tire the Goodyear Eagle-360 and the Goodyear IntelliGrip feed information to the self driving car, informing it about weather and road conditions.
The Goodyear Eagle-360 is a concept tire that seems to bridge the gap between si-fi and reality. The spherical-shaped tire allows cars to move in all directions, this will be particularly useful when dealing with tight parking spaces or narrow and congested city streets. Sensors on the tire send information to the car such as, road and weather conditions, it’ll also let the owner know when the thread depth is getting low and monitor the tire pressure. This information will be used to regulate even wear of the 360-degree tire, which will help extend milage.
The Goodyear Eagle-360 would rely on a magnetic levitation system, this would suspend the car and result in a smooth and quiet ride. The tire behaves like almost like a sponge, in that it stiffens when conditions are dry and softens when wet. This will be an excellent safety feature as it’ll help prevent the vehicle from aquaplaning in wet conditions.
The other concept tire on show, Goodyear’s IntelliGrip, looks much more like the tires we’re used to seeing than the Eagle-360. This tire is designed to communicate with the control-system in self driving cars. Using advanced sensor technology the tire can detect road and weather conditions and assess the condition of the tire, be it for wear or air pressure.
Intelligent car tires won’t only make driving safer, they’ll increase the overall performance of any car that uses them. Safety is the big one for now though, with recent research showing that 75 percent of Americans are scared of self driving cars and Google’s first, software-related, road incident just last month. Could intelligent tires, like Goodyear’s concept tires, bring the masses one step closer to accepting self driving cars?