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Toyota Wants to Take the Air Out of Your Tires

Those round rubber donuts are going high-tech.

by on Oct.31, 2017

Toyota's Fine-Ride Comfort concept vehicle uses a prototype airless tire by Sumitomo.

If Toyota has its way you soon might be running around on airless tires. That doesn’t mean you’ll be riding a flat, though.

The Japanese automaker’s Fine-Comfort Ride concept car, which is making its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, features tires that don’t need to be inflated to be used. The airless design “contributes to greater safety and peace of mind,” according tire manufacturer Sumitomo, “by freeing the driver from worries about punctures and the trouble of having to manage tire pressure.”

We Won't Tire You Out!

Sumitomo isn’t the only manufacturer hoping to develop an airless tire. Michelin is working on a similar concept it has dubbed the “Tweel.” And though neither company is saying when such a design might make it into production, what seems clear is that motorists are going to see a lot of changes in wheels and tires in the coming years, reflecting broader technological changes reshaping the automobile.

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