Flat tires have been an issue plaguing drivers ever since the dawn of the automobile. At this point, learning to fix a flat is a vital skill that literally every driver on the road should be familiar with.
That knowledge may not be as necessary for much longer, however, as Michelin is here for us!
— Gunaxin (@Gunaxin) June 4, 2019
They’re working with General Motors to develop and test a tire called Uptis (Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System) that doesn’t use air – and therefore, cannot go flat.
They debuted the groundbreaking design at the Movin’ On Summit in Montreal and I’ve gotta say…sign me up.
Even though the Uptis has conventional treads on the outside, the middle layer is made of composite rubber and resin-embedded fiberglass spokes. Air would typically provide the support for the outer treads, but in this case, the spokes do the job just as well (arguably better).
Michelin and GM believe these tires will also last longer, because they aren’t in danger of wearing down more quickly due to over or under-inflation. For the same reason, they claim the tires are more environmentally-friendly, since fewer tires means less tire waste over all.
Right now, over 200 million tires are tossed into the rubbish every single year.
The company plans to test the Uptis tires on a fleet of Chevy Bolts (electric vehicles) later this year. If it goes well, you can expect to see the tires on all new GM vehicles as early as 2024.
Right now, it’s not clear whether or not the tires would be available for purchase separately, so don’t let those tire-changing skills go dormant just yet.
But fear not! A brighter future with less squatting by the side of the road in the heat or rain could be on the very near horizon.