UPDATED November 20, 2008 One of the more fascinating developments in the history of the automotive tire is the modern concept of the airless tire. Dunlop produced the first pneumatic tire for bicycles in 1888 and Michelin did likewise for cars in 1895, and for the last century, pneumatic tires have ruled. Michelin announced its airless Tweel technology three years ago (Gizmag’s biggest story ever with more than a million page views) and won the Intermat Gold Medal for Innovation in 2006, though we have yet to see a commercially available automotive product from the French giant. Now a new airless tire using a flexible, honeycomb-like internal structure could again prove to be a disruptive technology in one of the world’s largest industries. With development funded by the U.S. DoD, the initial aim of the project was to replace the Achilles heel of the military vehicle, but now the technology looks like going commercial for the rest of us.
« Back to Reinventing the wheel – the airless tire