MONTREAL — Group Michelin has developed an "airless, connected, rechargeable, customizable and organic" concept tire/wheel hybrid called Vision, which features a range of its future-oriented and sustainable mobility technologies.
At the Movin'On 2017 global sustainability conference in Montreal, Michelin said the concept tire represents a convergence of innovations already explored by its research and development teams toward meeting the needs of a circular economy and sustainable mobility in the future.
The Vision project was launched in autumn 2016, led by Mostapha El-Oulhani, a group designer. It took inputs from many sources, including city motorists, race drivers, farmers, airline pilots and even young children, the tire maker said.
The tire is printed in 3D and "rechargeable" according to its level of wear and mobility, said Michelin, claiming Vision to be the world's first tire that "recharges."
The use of 3D printers, it added, makes it possible to use just the right amount of rubber on the tire and thus extend its life depending on needs, thereby ensuring mobility in all situations.
The tread design is optimized and its depth is reduced in order to reduce its thickness and make the tire more efficient in terms of materials.
"The tread design is adapted, in accordance with the user's mobility needs, with a triple concern for comfort, safety and sustainability," Michelin added.
An "alveolar" interior architecture does away with the need for air in the Vision tire, which instead relies on an interior architecture capable of supporting the vehicle while guaranteeing comfort and safety, the company said.
Sensors fitting in the Vision tire provide real-time information about its condition and, via mobile application, "can make an appointment to change the tire's destination, depending on the user's needs," Michelin said.