Michelin and General Motors have showcased a new generation airless wheel for the passenger car. The airless wheel from Michelin is called Uptis Prototype. The tyre has been developed for sustainable mobility and it has a ‘Unique Puncture-proof Tire System’. The Uptis Prototype will go in production as soon as 2024.
Michelin will start real-world testing with the Uptis Prototype using the Chevrolet Bolt EV in Michigan, USA. The airless wheel provides safety by eliminating dangerous situations such as blowouts and flat tyres. The tyre also improves efficiency and minimizes downtime for fleet operators. The airless wheel also eliminates the need for a spare wheel and helps reduce the use of raw material used to produce spare tyres.
The Michelin Vision Concept which was exhibited at the Movin’On summit in 2017 showed the company’s strategy for R&D in sustainable mobility. It included four pillars Airless Connected, 3D Printed and 100% sustainable.
The Uptis prototype is engineered for existing and emerging forms of passenger cars. The tyres demand zero maintenance and maximise operating capabilities on types of passenger vehicles.
The Uptis features composite materials and the architecture enables them to bear the vehicle’s load at the road going speeds. As no compressed air is required to fill the tyres they can be used to their full life cycle and will reduce wastage as conventional tyres are scrapped as a result of punctures and damage from improper inflation. Nearly, 200 million tyres are scrapped worldwide, prematurely.