Roadshow

Goodyear's Oxygene tire is actually alive

What's growing inside this Geneva Motor Show debut is key to its technology.

Goodyear
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Goodyear has caught my eye with its concept tires in the past, but its new Oxygene concept that just debuted at the Geneva Motor Show is something else. 

The company's gone sort-of biotech, with living moss at the center of the tire. It draws in moisture from the road (not sure how that will fare in Arizona), eats CO2 and puts out oxygen -- basically just doing what plants do. Goodyear estimates a that if every car in Paris had these tires, it would remove some 4,000 tons of CO2 each year. That's equivalent to removing about 4,500 cars from the road there.

The plant-filled center is also biohacked to extract a small amount of electricity from photosynthesis. This powers the tire's on-board sensors and sidewall lighting strips, which are imagined as a new form of car-to-pedestrian communication. The electrical generating part isn't pure fantasy: The University of Georgia demonstrated it in the lab in 2013.

Going further, Goodyear imagines these tires would use something like Li-Fi to engage in vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. 

All thanks to a little lichen.