Goodyear is actually serious about its idea for tires that are omnidirectional things, riding on magnetic levitation, like we showed you January of 2016.
Back then, they imagined a new kind of foam in the tread grooves, so water on the road would create pressure that automatically creates deeper grooves to deal with it.
Now they're going further, first with a rubber that is 3D printed, with the ability to stretch and shrink like human skin.
But it loosens, it can create dimples that work better in wet weather, stretching tight again, makes it close to a slit, ideal for dry pavement.
And it doesn't hurt that a ball-shaped tire is a natural water evacuator.
Now, of course, today you have to use the phrase AI in every sentence when you announce a new product.
In this case, they say the tire would use AI to do things like sensing damage, and maybe deciding to rotate on its axis to keep the damage more out of the load path.
If this is all too much to take seriously, Goodyear is also showing something more down to Earth.
IntelliGrip Urban, a new kind of tire for autonomous fleets.
Like what Uber wishes they already had.
Sensors monitor the tires Wear, inflation or damage because let's face it, when nobody drives the car there maybe no one to keep an eye on it's tires until there's a big problem.
[UNKNOWN] will be tall narrow things for low rolling resistance, to use less gas or get more EV range.
These aren't sports cars after all.
They also talk about sweating the design of sipes.
Those are the knife cuts you see on some tires.
They're much finer than the large grooves between tread blocks.
Goodyear says more and different sipes can improve all-weather performance while still resulting in a service that is smoother.
Which creates less noise, making for a quieter city.
Now like Goodyear, Pirelli's thinking connected as well.
Their Coneso or connected tire will have a sensor inside that sends info to the Pirelli Cloud.
About pressure, wear, or damage and monitors condition based on the model and application of the tire on your kind of car.
It can even track the history of use to know when the tire needs replacing, order it's replacement, and book a Shop appointment.
This is where it all begins to sound a bit too much like a way to sell us more tires more often, but I'm willing to withhold judgement until these [UNKNOWN] hit the market, summer of 2017.