It is a common marketing ploy for car manufacturers to present concept cars with innovative technological elements. Now, this promotional strategy is being utilized by tire companies as well.
Goodyear concept tires are blazing a new strategy for marketing car tires. They unveil a new way by which tires could be looked at as more than just round pieces of rubber.
Goodyear recently unveiled its idea of modern tires at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. They would catch the interest of those who are involved in the use, promotion and production of green cars.
This new tire concept is focused on fuel efficiency and its name sounds as inoffensive as its character – BHO3. Its more functional objective is to generate electricity.
According to Goodyear, BHO3 can make use of the heat produced by the flexing of rubber under normal driving conditions. This in turn will increase the efficiency of electric vehicles.
There is a clear benefit in this set up: it would provide an additional source of electricity, akin to the way electric cars and hybrids use regenerative braking for such purpose.
There’s a second concept tire that Goodyear is working on. This one is called the Triple Tube, which is named after the three internal tubes that enable the tire to change shape depending on the driving conditions.
Of the two Goodyear concept tires, this one is focused on increasing the tires rolling efficiency which eventually also positively affects the car’s fuel efficiency.
The three inner tubes in this tire are incorporated under the tread at the centre of the tire, as well as its inboard and outboard shoulders. Its ability to change into three different forms is made possible through a pump that inflates or deflates the individual tubes.
To reduce rolling resistance, the three inner tubes are fully inflated. The car driver has to choose the “Eco/Safety” mode in order to take advantage of this feature.
When the driver just wants the centre tube to be inflated, he has to choose the “Wet Traction” mode. If he wants to feel an increased grip of the road, and increase the tire’s contact patch, he has to choose the “Sporty” mode, which pumps up air on the inboard tube.
This tire design will be perfect for electric cars or hybrid plug-ins with sporty features. While it is easy for car manufacturers to improve the electronics and designs of powertrains, they are hard up in improving the capabilities of tires along these lines.
They are faced with the problem of low-rolling resistance tires that offer increased efficiency but compromise solid handling because they are low on grip capacity. On the other hand, tires that can perform aggressively are very low in efficiency.
However, all of these are just theoretical situations since these types of tires cannot be mass produced mainly because of their prohibitive costs and limited applications.
Goodyear unveiled the BHO3 and Triple Tube to demonstrate its engineering capabilities, and also lead the tire industry in the many ways by which these tires could be integrated with overall vehicle designs.
Photo Courtesy : Google