As a major auto show, the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show was expected to showcase a number of cool car concepts. Much to the surprise of many, Geneva also featured something else—tire concepts. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company joined automakers in giving people a peek at what the future possibly holds with two new tire technologies. Both the BHO3 and the Triple Tube concepts suggest that car tires will eventually be more than just the vehicle’s sole point of contact on the road.
Seen above is Goodyear’s BHO3 tire concept. This technology was made with electric vehicles in mind, as it was designed to recharge EV batteries while on the road. According to Goodyear, BHO3 can generate electricity thanks to materials in the tire. The company noted that these materials optimize not only the tire’s electrical generation capabilities but also its rolling resistance.
Goodyear has shared limited information about BHO3, but it suggests that the tire concept can recharge EVs in two ways. First, a weave of thermoelectric fibers allow the tire to convert the heat generated by the friction created by the tire and the road into electrical energy. Second, the piezioelectric material also found in the tire does the same thing by taking pressure from the changes in the tire’s shape as it rolls.
Then there is the Triple Tube concept. As the name suggests, this tire has three tubes under the tread: one is located in the center while the two are positioned in the tire’s shoulders. The three internal tubes are what gives the tire its special ability—the ability to adjust air inflation based on different road conditions.
Goodyear’s Triple Tube comes with an internal pump that directs air away from the main air chamber and into the three individual tubes. This pump will adjust the air pressure in each tube to three different positions or settings. These are the Eco/Safety, Sporty and Wet Traction positions.
In the Eco/Safety position, the internal pump fully inflates all three tubes to reduce rolling resistance. In the Sporty position, the inboard shoulder tube is deflated to optimize contact patch, provide improved grip as well as offer better handling. As for the Wet Traction position, only the center tube is fully inflated to provide better resistance to aquaplaning in times of wet weather.
Goodyear reveals that neither of the two concept tires are nowhere near production. At this point, both are just concepts.
Photo credit: cnet.com