Goodyear’s self-inflating tire tech for commercial vehicles leaves the lab
Goodyear's AMT system keeps tires inflated to the optimum air pressure
In the days before full-service gas stations went the way of the dodo, in addition to filling ‘er up, the attendant would sometimes check the tire pressure. These days that task, along with actually pumping the fuel, has totally fallen back on the driver, but it’s a job that is easily overlooked. This leaves many people driving around on tires at less than optimal pressure resulting in reduced performance and fuel economy. For the past year, Goodyear has been developing its self-inflating tire technology that's designed to keep tires inflated at the optimum pressure and the company is now set to debut the technology in Germany.
Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) system automatically keeps tires inflated to the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps or electronics. Rather, all the system’s components are contained within the tire itself. The heart of the system is an internal regulator that detects when the air pressure drops below a pre-specified psi and then opens up to allow air from outside the tire into the pumping tube. Air is pushed through this tube to the inlet valve and ultimately into the tire cavity by the deformation of the tire as it rolls over the road.
Goodyear is initially aiming its AMT system at commercial vehicle fleet operators, citing 2008 figures from the American Trucking Association that more than half of all truck and trailer breakdowns for such operators involve a tire in some way, making tire-related costs the single largest maintenance item for fleet owners. The simple act of keeping tires properly inflated can cut costs by improving fuel economy and prolonging tread life.
Goodyear estimates that every 10 psi loss of tire inflation equates to a one percent loss in miles per gallon. Additionally, tires underinflated by 10 percent is estimated to decrease tread life by nine to 16 percent.
So, although Goodyear hasn’t announced pricing details of AMT tires, it will no doubt be claiming the potential savings for fleet operators over the life of the tire will more than offset the initial up front cost.
Goodyear will debut its self-inflating technology for commercial tires at the 2012 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) Commercial Vehicle Show currently running in Hanover, Germany, until September 27.
About the Author
Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
All articles by Darren Quick
Self-inflating tire? Hope it works better than that damn low pressure warning system.
Great idea, but when we drive in the desert we need to defalte the tyres so we do not get stuck, we need the techonology to enable us to set the required pressure for the required condition (control the required psi)
The real need is for self inflating car tires.
Nice idea, but in the commercial sector, loads differ constantly, requiring (I guess, like in the passenger car market) different tyre pressures. Unless the tyres are intelligent enough to determine the weight of the load, it will be a pretty pointless product. Perhaps if the axle had some or other gadget that could determine the load and transmit that info the tyres which could adjust the pressure requirement, it would be a far greater benefit to the trucking industry???
didn't the oldschool "H1" hummers have self inflating tires?
In the consumer sector, loads vary all the time as well. Somehow the tire manufacturers have got that pressure thing figured out. I believe this is a great advantage for trucks, whose tires are built for more miles than passenger tires, and are retreaded several times.
Bruce H. Anderson
It is a good idea for use in commercial vehicles as the vehicles are very heavy. Would probably not make it to passenger vehicles. All the extra stuff that put into the wheels and tires would increase the unsprang weight. With passenger vehicles getting lighter and lighter to save fuel. Installing these types of self-inflating tires would ruin the ride and handling of the passenger vehicles
Need this for cars IE sales & rentals & Used models.
Must have feature.
On road commercial tires, and car tires are designed to provide a flat rolling surface when the tire is at the specified pressure whether the vehicle is loaded or not. Unless you are overloading the tire, need to increase the ground contact area to increase floatation (you forgot about the on road specification), or need to lower the top of your vehicle to clear a low overhead keep the tire pressure at the manufacturer's specified pressure.
The H1 Hummers have central tire pressure regulation allowing the driver to adjust the tire pressure without stopping allowing him to maintain optimal tire pressure for the terrain in the specially designed tires.
The original HVM had automatic tire inflation, not self inflation. The axle was hollow and the compressed air came from outside the tire. This has the pump inside the tire.
This would be easy to make adjustable, by putting the pressure regulator on the inlet, which still looks a lot like a tire inflation stem, because it sticks out of the rim.
Or... the most cost effective thing to do would be regularly check your tire pressures. Crazy idea, I know. I work in the automotive repair market and tires are already expensive enough for consumers, let alone fleet owners. If people picked up responsibility and did these things themselves, there would be no need for ridiculous technology like this. Then throwing in axle load sensors to communicate with the tires? HELLO! Ex. Pen. Sive. 'Nuff said.
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