Cooley On Cars
Goodyear's Oxygene tire is actually aliveWhat's growing inside this tire is key to its technology.
Goodyear has frequently caught my eye with concept tires that strain credulity, but think real big. Sit down for the latest, the Oxygene. It looks like a round, rubber terrarium. That's living moss you see growing inside. Not so they can sell these at West Elm, but to water itself by drawing in moisture on the road. And by so living, taking CO2 in and putting oxygen out, that thing that plants do. A far cry from what's emitted by some tires. Now how much good can a little moss in a tire do? Goodyear estimates that if every car in, say, Paris had these tires, It would remove some 4,000 tons of CO2 each year, and generate a ton of oxygen. About the equivalent of taking 4,500 cars off the road, as I calculate it. Of course, these Oxygene tires would be 3D printed and made from recycled rubber powder. And if future tires have taught me anything, it's that future tires won't be filled with air. These get their structure from their structure rather than inflation. If this isn't enough to make you think you're reading the Onion, Oxygenes also harvest a trickle of electricity by hacking the moss's photosynthetic process. A trick developed at University of Georgia in 2013. That would allow a set of these tires to run their embedded Sensors and sidewall light strips without charging. I would tell you about their built in data connection via light transmission, but you just wouldn't believe me.