In the greatest “Au contraire!” moment in recent memory and to the delight of sub-editors everywhere, Goodyear Tires just reinvented the wheel.
Well, in concept, at least.
Created to outfit all the self-driving smartcars that are coming down the pike, the Eagle-360 is a perfectly round, 3D-printed concept tire designed to provide maximum contact with the road and disperse with water, sleet and snow using centrifugal force. The treads mimic the pattern of brain coral and the grooves of the tires stiffen and dry like a natural sponge to optimize performance.
The spherical tires are omnidirectional, so tasks like parallel parking, stopping dangerous skids or maneuvering through tight spaces will be exponentially easier in theory.
The Goodyear Eagle-360 concept tire 3:12
In order to allow drivers to take advantage of the perfect range of motion afforded by the spherical design without limitation, the Eagle-360 concept would suspend the vehicle over the tires using magnetic levitation or, as we like to call it, magic.
Each of the tires will also monitor road conditions and wear levels via sensors and relay that information to the car in order to improve safety and extend mileage.
“By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road,” says Goodyear chief technical officer Joseph Zekoski.
No word on if they can also change themselves, but we’ve got our wrenches crossed.