This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
CNET On Cars: Road to the Future: Airless tires
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

CNET On Cars: Road to the Future: Airless tires

2:19 /

Everything about air in tires is antiquated. The checking, refilling, and patching hasn't changed much in a century. Brian Cooley tells you why tires without air may be the future.

[MUSIC] Now take a look at this one. This one is from Bridgestone. It's their latest concept of an air free tire. Well, tire? Like a wheel assembly. First of all, notice the large diameter huffs so they can create these veins of thermoplastic at the length or height that they want them to be. They've got some give in them as you can see there. They're pretty stiff though. On the other side is another side of these veins bent the other way and this they say is key and different from a lot of other designs because the tires got two ways of supporting the vehicles weight that goes over terrain. Of course you can't get a flat, of course you can't get a blow out, but like we say that doesn't happen that often, but the other benefits here would be what? Extremely. Stiff in cornering. I mean this doesn't have any give going that direction, as you can imagine. Very little. You don't have any sidewall slosh as you're working through corners. It might even be unnerving how stiff it is. And then notice this. The tread is actually the part you replace. The wheel, unless you damage it, doesn't get replaced. So all you do is basically. Recap it with another piece of tread making it very environmentally friendly. YOu're just replacing this strip of thin tread rubber. Michelin's Tweel also uses a thing outer tread layer. There. Then an array of long spokes to give the compliance needed to create a good contact patch. Then a more dense matrix of spokes closer to the hub and that creates an energy absorbing device between the car and the road. Britek said it energy return wheel is designed to take the impacts of the road and instead of transferring all of that to the suspension to deal with. Turns it into a bit of torque to aid the cars forward progress or the opposite flow during breaking and resilient technologies has focused on airless tires for military applications where a flat can strand soldiers in a bad place. Their design uses a honeycomb of polymer veins and they say 30% of those can be blown or shot out and the tire will still function adequately. I find the airless tire thing fascinating because of the low maintenance extreme durability and it's got a nice kind of environmental footprint. We throw away a lot of tires that we have to find something to do with. And this would erase most of that.

New releases

Swap your iOS 8 keyboard for these...
0:59 September 19, 2014
With iOS 8, you can use a different keyboard than the default. Check out these third-party alternatives.
Play video
2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat...
5:50 September 19, 2014
The 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack has the muscle car power (and fuel economy) to back up its nostalgic...
Play video
Compact, budget Samsung Galaxy...
2:01 September 19, 2014
This wallet-friendly Android phone fits nicely in the hand, but has a few drawbacks you'll want to know about...
Play video
Line up for an iPhone 6, get a...
2:11 September 19, 2014
Why do people wait in line for days at Apple stores for the latest iPhones when they could preorder online?...
Play video
3D Pocketcopter crowdfunding soars...
5:13 September 19, 2014
This week on Crave it's your last chance to order a Pocketcopter that doesn't exist, run for your lives from...
Play video
The Blendtec Designer 725 is too...
2:33 September 19, 2014
A significant design flaw keeps us from recommending this high-end appliance
Play video
Genius hacker Walter O'Brien tells...
3:11 September 19, 2014
When Scorpion makes its debut on Monday night, it will bring hacking and computer security to prime time like...
Play video
The hidden features inside iOS...
2:04 September 19, 2014
Brian Tong shows you the features inside of iOS 8 that you might not know about.
Play video