New tyre concepts could boost the onset of early generation autonomous cars while also offering fleets improvements in safety and reductions in fuel consumption.
That’s according to Goodyear which revealed two ideas at the Geneva Motor Show.
The first, IntelliGrip, takes tyre chip technology to the next level, according to Olivier Rousseau, vice president consumer at Goodyear.
The tyre sensors detect road surface and weather to provide feedback to the car which can then adjust braking, speed or suspension to take these conditions into account.
“Autonomous vehicles need tools to maximise their safety,” said Rousseau. “Manufacturers are pushing autonomous vehicles so it resonates with that, but it is valid for all vehicles.”
He is looking to partner with manufacturers to accelerate the development of the tyres and said that the initial conversations have been promising. Should they come on board, the tyres could become reality in as little as three years – the typical development time of a concept to production.
“It will go as fast as the manufacturers want to take it,” added Rousseau.
Goodyear’s second concept dips a little further into the future. The Eagle 360-degree is a spherical tyre which offers total manoeuvrability along any axis.
It would enable the car to change direction instantly and smoothly and allow sideways entry into parking spaces.
The challenge for Goodyear has been creating a pattern that flows in all directions for maximum grip and water dispersal.
The Eagle 360 has also been developed with autonomy in mind, said Rousseau, and offers greater connectivity with the vehicle.
“The tyre can talk to the car, to other cars and to the infrastructure,” he explains. “It could tell other cars about potholes, for example, so everyone benefits from the knowledge.”