Michelin Debuts Airless Tire Concept

Huh. Guess they can be reinvented.

By Kirk Miller

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26 June 2017

Your A.I.-enhanced, autonomous electric supercar of the future still has one problem.

It’s not going anywhere with a flat.

But another piece of future tech might solve that nagging issue. Look to Airless, a new 3D-printed Visionary Concept tire concept by Michelin.

Unveiled at the Movin’ On exhibition in Montreal, the airless Visionary tire utilizes a honeycomb pattern inspired by coral and human lungs, with 3D printers replenishing lost tread. No inflation needed. An array of sensors in the tires alert your smartphone if you need tread replacements, and those treads can be modified based on terrain and weather.

The tire will be made from recycled, bio-sourced and biodegradable materials — all of which is great, but the Airless is at least 10 years away from hitting the market, according to Michelin. 

Whatever happens, it's interesting to see a household-name company think this far ahead about their product and what kind of tech we might be living with in the future. 

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