Tyres are a pretty simple, uninteresting part of a vehicle, right? Wrong. There are tyres that allow you to drive with a puncture, super eco-friendly tyres made from wacky materials, and ultra smart micro-chipped tyres; this list of innovative new designs will have you looking at your old wheels with dismay. Many of these tyres are still in the testing phase though, so hang on to your current ones for now!
This intelligent tyre is fitted with an RFID chip, which can communicate with the car's electronic system. Information including temperature, tyre pressure, and type of tyre fitted is sent to the car's main system. This allows easy monitoring of the tyre and can help improve safety and performance, with systems like anti-lock braking adapting as needed. The chip is inserted directly into the rubber of the tyre and is balanced so as not to affect the stability of the wheel.
You might soon be able to wave goodbye to the days of worrying about inflating your tyres too much or too little—this clever tyre does it for you. Fitted with an electrical 'Air Maintenance Technology' system, these tyres are automatically monitored for air pressure. When a drop in pressure is recorded, the system activates, a valve is opened, and the tyre is automatically inflated using a regulator and tube. This means that there is no risk of punctures or suspension damage being caused by low pressure. Fuel economy and tyre lifespan also benefit, so this tyre could help you to save money.
Remember the last time you had a puncture? Now imagine that instead of being stuck at the side of the road, changing your tyre or waiting hours for assistance, you could have just driven home. Well, you don't need to imagine, because that's exactly what you can do with the innovative run-flat tyre.
These tyres are specially designed to remain functional for around 50 miles with no air pressure, which is usually long enough to drive home or to a garage. A strong reinforced side wall on the tyre means that unlike traditional tyres, they are able to support the car without air pressure. As well as saving a lot of hassle, these tyres are eco-friendly as they remove the need for a heavy spare to be transported around.
Soybean oil tyres
The humble soybean certainly isn't the first material that springs to mind when you think about tyre construction, but it's proving to be an unlikely star. Testing has shown that using soybean oil can potentially increase tread life by 10%, as well as massively cut down on the use of less sustainable, petroleum-based oil. Using soybean oil also reduces energy consumption in factories. We all know cars aren't great for the environment, but innovations like this can lessen the impact.