While today’s tires last longer than ever, flats and blowouts still occur occasionally, but what might have been a minor inconvenience in the past has become a potentially serious situation since more and more automakers are switching from standard spares to downsized emergency tires – or eliminating spare tires entirely.
But Goodyear is hoping it has a solution that can provide a safety net for motorists – and a big bump to its bottom line. The tire maker is working on a new concept it calls Air Maintenance Technology that could all but eliminate the need for spare tires on any vehicle.
The AMT technology uses a miniaturized pump contained within the tire itself to maintain the optimal pressure. The system would effectively be able to overcome all but a major leak or blow-out.
“This will become the kind of technological breakthrough that people will wonder how they ever lived without,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear’s Chief Technology Officer. “A tire that can maintain its own inflation is something drivers have wanted for many years. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging.”