Michelin’s Vision of Tomorrow’s Mobility: An Airless Tire!

Michelin’s Cyrille Roget recently revealed some amazing innovations going on ...

Michelin’s Cyrille Roget recently revealed some amazing innovations going on within the tiremaker’s walls, and our minds are absolutely blown by the possibilities.

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Using 3D printing technology and fully biodegradable materials, Michelin has created a concept that seems poised to take over the tire market as the way of the future as soon as they’ve refined the design. Consisting of what looks very much like a tightly woven spider web, the tires don’t require air. Instead, the strands of the web provide the structural support for the car, combining the tire and the wheel into a single combined unit.

Michelin, a company that prides itself on always looking toward the future, is working on offering real-time feedback to the driver and vehicle about what the tire is “seeing” on the road surface. This could be used to analyze the road and weather conditions, combined with the driver’s input and driving habits, to work toward providing longer tire life and safer operation. While Michelin is likely focused mainly on road-going applications, we are seeing some huge potential in the racing world for wheels and tires that gather data and send it to the vehicle’s computer.

And of course, thinking of the environment, Michelin has created a sort of modular design that allows the tread itself – made of biodegradable material – to be reprinted into the unit with a 3D printer on demand. This opens up all kinds of possilibites for tread designs, from off-road to rain tires to custom tread with your name made into them. While that last option might be a little petty, the idea of simply reprinting your tires instead of having to have four new ones installed is as innovative as it gets, which is exactly where Michelin likes to be, right on the forefront of tire industry innovation.

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