I bet the majority of us don’t put too much thought into the tires that ferry us along our daily commute to work, so it might surprise you that major tire manufacturers like Michelin are putting brains and cash into projects pushing major innovation.
The VISION project was launched last fall, and Michelin pegs it as a concept that is both wheel and tire, and also airless, connected, rechargeable, customizable, and organic. Oh yeah – and it’s 3D printed. On a press release on the company’s website, Michelin describes the tire as being rechargeable, meaning, with the aid of 3D printers, “it is possible to use just the right amount of rubber on the tire and thus extend its life depending on needs, thereby ensuring mobility in all situations.”
The VISION tire also allegedly does away with air, and therefore is impervious to explosion or blowout. It instead relies on an interior architecture that’s capable of supporting the vehicle. And when your VISION tire does finally meet its maker? Well, the company says it’s biodegradable too.
Finally, VISION offers sensors that can provide real-time updates on your tire’s condition, in the event you’re, say, surprised by a nail. No word on when this tire might actually come to market though, so it’s low tech tires until then, I’m afraid.