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Goodyear Debuts Self-Inflating Tire - DrivingScene

Categorized | News

Goodyear Debuts Self-Inflating Tire

Posted on 21 September 2012 by Adam Kaslikowski

Goodyear has just done its part in helping us all move into the future by showing off their new technology of self-inflating tires. The technology was shown at the 2012 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) Commercial Vehicle Show this month in Germany. The pilot program in 2013 will be exclusively commercial truck tires, but Goodyear says that commercial tires are actually more difficult to use with this technology given their high pressures, long miles, and likelihood of retreading. The company gave no expected time frame for when this will make it’s way to the public, but expect it to still be years away.

The technology itself is beautifully simple (as explained in the diagram to the right). If the tire’s PSI drops below a prescribed amount, the external valve opens and allows air to rush in to a small tube within the tire. The localized pressure at the bottom of the wheel flattens the small tube and pushes air as it rolls (just like squeezing a toothpaste tube) through an inner valve and into the main tire, thus adding air and adding pressure until it once again achieves it predetermined level when the outside valve shuts. Easy.

Goodyear is not the first company to use this elegant design for inflating tires. PumpTire popped up on Kickstarter some time ago with this same idea for bicycle tires and have been plugging away at it ever since. Sorry, those two tire puns were an accident. I’m sure there have also been a few other examples of inventing types trying to make our automotive lives just a little bit easier, but Goodyear’s announcement shows the first real hope of this technology coming to car near you soon.

– Adam Kaslikowski