You’re driving down the road, see a board with a nail sticking out. “Oh crap!” Then you rember it’s 2024 and you’re driving the new Chevrolet Bolt with airless tires. Granted, probably not the best idea to hit that board, but according to Michelin and Chevrolet, the new airless tires will be able to absorb that impact or something similar and allow you to keep driving.
Originally designed back in 2005 and known as the ‘Tweel’, it was built for small off-road vehicles – specifically ATVs, small golf carts, and military vehicles. With many advantages over traditional tires such as better grip in rougher terrain, less mantenance and the ability to not get a puncture, the Tweel was, and still is, a great option for many.
Annouced earlier this week, Michelin and Chevrolet are working on a new airless tire intended for the all electric 2024 Bolt. It is being called the UPTIS or “Unique Puncture-proof Tire System”, and testing is starting at the end of this year.
These tires also require virtually no maintenance and have a significantly longer lifespan compared to the standard design. Michelin says that the new technology could save 200 million tires from being scrapped per year. Their reason: fewer punctures and less uneven wear.
“UPTIS is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners,” GM’s senior vice president for global purchasing and supply chain said.
Is this the future of tire design, or is this a change we just don’t need? Let us know what you think in the comments.