Are we closer to the airless tire?

6 Jun

The idea of ​​developing a tire without air is something that has been hanging around the minds of some manufacturers for some time. Michelin presented in 2014 some for agricultural and construction vehicles. However, still nobody has managed to take them massively to production cars, although now precisely Michelin has partnered with General Motors and come with the idea of ​​starting to tireless tires in cars from 2024.

The cause of this optimistic idea is the Michelin UPTIS (Unique Puncture Proof Tire System), the prototype of a tire without air that has just been presented. They announce that the first tests are already being carried out and that the vehicle chosen to fit them has been the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the electric model that is not sold in our country but has a significant presence in the United States. In fact, a small fleet will begin to circulate on open roads at the end of the year in Michigan.

The main quality of this tire without air is that it can’t be punctured and that eliminates many risks. Michelin and GM have started from the premise that they want more safety for users who travel by car and reduce downtime for professionals and fleets (which would have fewer maintenance operations). All this being respectful with the environment to use less raw materials to manufacture these tires.

The Michelin Uptis Prototype is tested on a Chevrolet Bolt EV Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at the General Motors Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan. GM intends to develop this airless wheel assembly with Michelin and aims to introduce it on passenger vehicles as early as 2024. (Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors)


The Michelin UPTIS was inspired by the Vision prototype, a tire presented in 2017 that anticipated the future vision of the brand, although now it is more adapted to real life and could come to occur in that period of five years that have been put. It would be interesting to know more information such as the useful life of the tire. And even more interesting would be if they endured the entire existence of the vehicle and need not worry about this component, although that is probably too utopian thinking.