Goodyear developing technology to automatically maintain tire pressure
GENEVA, Switzerland: The days of checking tire pressure could be a thing of the past thanks to an innovation from Goodyear.
Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) has been under development in Goodyear’s laboratories over the past two years. Visitors at the Geneva International Motor Show were able to see how tires can remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps, electronics or driver intervention leading to a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
AMT will help ensure the optimum tire pressure is maintained and as a result could mean substantial savings at the fuel pump with underinflated tires resulting in between a 2.5 percent and 3.3 percent decrease in fuel economy, according to government and industry research.
Research conducted by Goodyear Dunlop shows consumers are unconcerned about their tire pressure, with half of those surveyed not knowing when to check their tire pressure and one in three motorists admitting they would not be very likely to check their tire pressure even before embarking on a long trip.
Properly inflated tires are necessary to keep the vehicle’s handling performance at optimal levels, especially its cornering abilities. Under-inflation means less evenly distributed pressure on the road. It also reduces the tread area that is in direct contact with the road.
Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice-president and chief technical officer explains: “Consumers often overlook the importance of maintaining proper tire pressure. We believe this technology will enhance safe driving and performance; and have a positive impact on the environment through improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and extended tire life.”
Last year The US Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technology awarded a US$1.5 million grant for research, development and demonstration of the AMT system for commercial truck tires conducted at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio. Goodyear also received a grant from the Luxemburg government for research and development of an AMT system for consumer tires. That work has been conducted at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg.
It is too early in the innovation process to predict when AMT will come to market but the company has confirmed that the grants provided by the US and Luxembourg governments will certainly speed up development.