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Goodyear reveals concept tires for autonomous vehicles at Geneva Motor Show

Goodyear has revealed two innovative new concept tires at the Geneva Motor Show that could literally reshape the future for autonomous cars.

The concepts are: the spherical-shaped Eagle-360, a future-oriented tire that was designed with key features of maneuverability, connectivity and ‘biomimicry’ for autonomous mobility, while the IntelliGrip, featuring advanced sensor and treadwear technology, is a solution for the earlier adoption of self-driving vehicles. The tires' ability to communicate with the car to which they're attached, is what makes this concept suitable for semi- and fully self-driving vehicles, as opposed to non-autonomous ones.

The Eagle-360 is a spherical design concept tire that would provide semi-autonomous and autonomous cars with ultimate maneuverability, connectivity and biomimicry to increase safety. The multi-orientation of the spherical tire allows the car to move in all directions, contributing to safety for passengers, as well as coping with space limitations such as tight parking lots or city streets. Embedded sensors further increase safety by communicating road and weather conditions to the vehicle control system and other nearby cars, while tread and tire pressure monitoring technology regulate even wear of the 360-degree tire to extend mileage.

The tires would rely on a magnetic levitation (Maglev) system to provide propulsion and suspend the car, resulting in a smooth, quiet ride for the passenger. Inspired by nature (biomimicry), the 3D printed tread mimics the pattern of brain coral and behaves like a natural sponge; designed to stiffen in dry conditions and soften when wet, to deliver excellent driving performance and aquaplaning resistance.

The IntelliGrip concept tire is designed to communicate with semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicle control systems, sensing road surface and weather conditions for improved driving safety and performance. Due to its advanced sensor technology and specially designed tread, the concept tire can sense many road conditions, including both surface and weather conditions. The IntelliGrip also uses advanced active wear technology to assess the condition of the tire and the vehicle, with Goodyear-developed algorithms accounting for variables, such as inflation pressure and tire temperature. When the tire senses a rainy or slippery road surface, the autonomous vehicle will adapt its speed.

The tire can shorten the stopping distance, provide a better cornering response, optimize stability and even support collision prevention systems. Goodyear is currently working with a number of vehicle manufacturers to further adapt this technology to their needs, enhancing connectivity with features such as Electronic Stability Control Systems, Brake Control Systems and Suspension Control Systems.

“By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road,” said Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer. “Our concept tires play a dual role in that future, both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking, and testbeds for next-generation technologies. Although these tires are future concepts, they represent an essential aspect of Goodyear’s innovation strategy and its vision for smart and safe mobility.”

Click here to watch a video of Goodyear's Eagle-360 concept tire.

The latest research from around the world will be presented at the Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development Symposium. Click here to register.

March 4, 2016

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