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Goodyear ReCharge concept tire regrows tread by taking a pill

Is AI-informed, regenerative tire tread technology in our future?

We replace our tires as the tread wears over time. That's the way things go. At Goodyear, maybe that's not the way it'll go in the future.

The Goodyear ReCharge concept debuted Tuesday, and this crazy futuristic tire envisions a radical new way to replace your rubber. Rather than swapping the physical tire for a new one, the tire manufacturer is pondering something else -- what if you simply regenerated new tread?

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To that end, the ReCharge tire takes capsules that a vehicle owner would administer when tread life wears down. The biodegradable compound, made from spider-silk-inspired material, restores itself with a liquid compound capsule. But that's not all -- Goodyear's concept tire is also customizable.

The liquid compound in this concept is totally customizable and works with artificial intelligence to create a compound unique to each driver. Further, it adjusts itself based on road conditions and the weather. Separate tires for winter and summer? No need with the ReCharge tire -- the compound can morph for safe travels. Imagine feeding a performance capsule to your tires ahead of a track day for better performance. Now that's something wild to think about.

Since this is a far-out concept idea, the tire looks properly futuristic. It boasts a tall and narrow shape with a lightweight frame. Goodyear said this design would eliminate the need to check tire pressure and would  leave flat tires in the past.

The ReCharge concept tire was scheduled to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show this week, but the international car expo was cancelled before it commenced because of the coronavirus.

Goodyear is giving zero indication of whether any of this technology is near production-ready, but it's always amazing to see where engineers' heads are. It seems inevitable that the tire will change its form in the future, even if it simply goes airless.

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