For all the millions of pounds tyre manufacturers invest in new tyre technologies, they all have the same crucial flaw -- run over something sharp and they're rendered pretty much useless.
So tyre maker Bridgestone is busy developing a new non-pneumatic, or airless, concept tyre that it says will be completely resistant to punctures, AllCarTech reports.
These concept Bridgestones ditch boring old air in favour of a much cooler thermoplastic resin spoke structure along the inner sides of the tyres, which gives it the same properties as a tyre filled with pressurised gas. But as it's airless, there's no risk of puncture -- nails, glass, spears and barbs from errant stingrays are simply shrugged off.
Now, we know what you're thinking: aren't run-flat tyres already puncture-resistant? No, is the short answer. Run-flats are pneumatic, meaning they're filled with gas. Once punctured, they'll let you carry on driving, but only at reduced speeds and for limited distances -- no more than 50mph and 200 miles -- before they give out.
Bridgestone says this concept tyre has numerous benefits. Not only will they eliminate the need to stand out in the freezing cold trying to figure out how a jack works, they'll also mean you needn't carry a spare, so vehicles will be lighter, more fuel efficient and -- in some cases -- more spacious.
There are also environmental benefits. The resin used inside the tyres is 100 per cent recyclable, so -- unlike ordinary tyres -- they shouldn't end up on landfill sites.
There's no word on when these tyres will hit the mainstream, or whether they'll be anywhere near as comfortable to ride on as pneumatic tyres, but you can bet your bottom dollar we'll keep you posted on this the minute we have more info. In the meantime, let us know what you think in the run-flat comments section or on our pumped-up Facebook page.