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Goodyear unveils 3D printed smart tyre

13/03/2018
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A tyre is just a tyre, right? A round black rubber thing whose most important job is to keep your car stuck to the road. Well, if you’re American tyre manufacturer Goodyear then you have much greater ambitions for what the humble tyre could do in future.
The living moss is perhaps the most unique and unusual of the tyre and will use photosynthesis to generate electricity and clean air!
(Image via Goodyear).

Oxygene is Goodyear’s latest concept tyre which was unveiled at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. The tyre integrates living moss, can connect to the Internet of Things, and uses the energy generated during photosynthesis to power its electronics.

The living moss is perhaps the most unique and unusual feature of the tyre and is located within the sidewall of the tyre where it absorbs and circulates moisture and water from the road surface, allowing photosynthesis to occur and therefore releasing oxygen into the air- effectively making it a tyre which improves the environment as it is used!
The tyre features a non-pneumatic construction that is 3D printed with rubber powder from recycled tyres.
(Image via Goodyear).

Here’s some more information about the key details of this unusual and innovative tyre design:
 
  • Recycling worn tyres: Oxygene features a non-pneumatic construction that is 3D-printed with rubber powder from recycled tyres. The lightweight, shock-absorbing structure provides a long-lasting, puncture-free solution intended to extend the life of the tire and minimize service issues, delivering worry-free mobility. Additional safety is ensured by the tyre’s open structure, which improves wet grip by helping absorb water from the tread.

  • Generating its own electricity: Oxygene harvests the energy generated during photosynthesis to power its embedded electronics, including onboard sensors, an artificial intelligence processing unit, and a customisable light strip in the tyre’s sidewall that switches colours, warning both road users and pedestrians of upcoming manoeuvres, such as lane changes or braking.

  • Communicating at the speed of light: Oxygene uses a visible light communications system, or LiFi, for high-capacity mobile connectivity at the speed of light. LiFi enables the tire to connect to the Internet of Things, allowing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) data exchange, which is critical to smart mobility management systems.

  • The tyre's sidewall can switch colours warning other road users of upcoming manoeuvres such as lane changing or braking.
    (Image via Goodyear).

    Explaining the thinking behind the concept, Chris Delaney, President of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa, said:

    “With more than two-thirds of the world population expected to live in cities by 2050, the demands on transport networks in urban environments will increase substantially. Smarter, greener infrastructure and transport will be crucial in addressing the most pressing challenges of urban mobility and development.”

    “Like the concept designs Goodyear has presented at Geneva in the past, Oxygene is meant to challenge our thinking and help drive the debate around smart, safe and sustainable future mobility. By contributing in this way to cleaner air generation, the tyre could enhance quality of life and health for city-dwellers."

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