Bridgestone is working on the second generation of its airless tyre
Will the future of tyres include air free products? Bridgestone thinks so, and they have just revealed the second generation of its air free concept tyre.
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Less maintenance and pollution
From the very first designs, tyres contain a volume of air. This, of course, implies regular maintenance to check the inflation level and products that are obviously vulnerable to punctures, cuts and tears which may render tyres unusable. The idea of developing a tyre whose “supporting” structure does not use air is potentially very interesting, providing that the product offers sufficient performance and a reasonable level of comfort. According to Bridgestone, advantages go well beyond that: Revealing the second generation of its air free concept tyre at the last Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese tyre manufacturer said that this product is also more environmentally friendly since its structure could be made from sustainable materials only, and that fuel consumption when driving could be much lower than with a normal tyre.
Impossible to fit it on real car, for now
The second generation Air Free Concept Tyre offers increased performance, compared with the first generation, in terms of cornering stability, rolling resistance, or driving comfort. The problem is that Bridgestone are only testing this tyre on ultra light vehicles weighing up to 410 kg (the first generation was tested on vehicles weighing 100 kg). Suffice to say, there is still a long way to go before this tyre is freely available on the market and can be fitted on “real” family cars. However, development will continue and the concept may achieve a satisfactory level for a real commercial application in the near future. Motorists will undoubtedly have everything to gain.
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