Innovation That Matters

The airless tire can operate at highway speeds | Photo source Michelin

Airless tires promise waste reduction and better safety

Mobility & Transport

Michelin and General Motors believe the new tires will provide a sustainable alternative to traditional tires

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Spotted: French tire manufacturer Michelin is working on a new type of airless tires. The Unique Puncture-proof Tire System prototype (Uptis prototype) is a “new generation of tire”, according to the company.

The Uptis prototype is a joint project with US-based General Motors. Made with a mix of composite rubber and resin embedded fibreglass, the airless tire can operate at highway speeds.

The new tires are safer and more sustainable than traditional tires, according to Michelin. The production reduces “raw materials, energy for production and emissions linked to the manufacture of spare tires and replacement tires,” the company says, adding that “UPTIS’s airless technology makes its impervious to flats and blowouts,” so replacements are not necessary.

GM and Michelin unveiled the prototype in June. They plan to start testing the tires on GM’s Chevrolet Bolt EVs this year and GM plans to start using the tires on passenger vehicles in 2024.



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