Goodyear: Future SUV tyre concept
Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Europe is showing a new future SUV tyre concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2014.
The new concept, which has been designed as part of Goodyear’s ongoing research into potential tyre technologies, builds on the company’s continuing work to develop innovative products for future applications.
The concept, which has not yet been named, builds on a standard SUV tyre with a large central groove. Thanks to this groove the tyre has a reduced contact patch with the road, which in turn could improve the tyre’s overall rolling resistance, supporting ongoing efforts to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 released from the car.
The reduction in this rolling resistance means that car engines do not need to work as hard to push the tyre forward against the friction created by its contact with the ground.
The groove is also designed to evacuate large quantities of water and mud away from the tyre’s contact patch during wet conditions, effectively offering a possibility to improve its overall wet grip.
Unlike many other concepts, the Goodyear tyre does not put two small tyres together on one rim, but builds the double contact patch tyre on a single SUV tyre carcass.
The approach means that the tyre is able to support the load weight of an SUV, while still offering the benefits of a double contact patch tyre. As an additional benefit, the removal of a large patch of rubber from the tyre to create the groove means that the tyre’s overall weight is reduced, delivering a more lightweight product which uses less rubber in production.
The new concept is part of an ongoing effort at Goodyear to work around developing sustainable solutions for distant future.
“At Goodyear we are always working to identify key opportunities for future development possibilities”, says Jean-Pierre Jeusette, Director General of Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Luxemburg (GICL). “We spend hundreds of hours discussing, analysing, learning, designing and developing new ideas and concepts across our research and development facilities in both Europe and the United States. The result of this thinking is often molded into tyre concepts which are then used to stimulate further developments.
This tyre is no different, and it provides the world with an example of our development process at Goodyear. It is by far not the only concept we are looking at for similar applications, reflecting the complexity of the tyre engineering process we go through to deliver new and innovative products to the market, today and in the future”.
Although the tyre is not designed to be a marketable product, the concept SUV tyre, which is also fitted to Hyundai’s Intrado concept car, is one of several possible way to address rolling resistance and wet grip, both key criteria’s on the European tyre label.
Additional features built into the tyre include Auto-Clean Hydrophobic textures, designed to expel mud and other solids from the tread and advanced noise absorbing textures in tread grooves to reduce the noise the tyre makes when rolling over the tarmac.
“Looking towards possible future solutions helps us to deliver many of the technologies of today”, explains Jeusette. “When we revealed a concept tyre with an AA European tyre label in 2012, it paved the way for the development of a complete new portfolio of highly labeled tyres for the European market. Today Goodyear’s EfficientGrip Performance offers some of the highest commercially available labeled tyres on the market. Concepts are an integral part of our development process, and they help us identify and deliver new technologies designed to improve road safety, driving comfort and new successes in sustainable solutions for our products.”
The concept tyre also previews a potenential mobility solution with Twin Air Chambers (one at each side) both interconnected through a valve system which allows the tyre to continue to roll even after a puncture of one of both air chambers.
The tyre is a pure concept and part of Goodyear’s ongoing research. Its tyre tread and overall design is developed to be inspirational and is not designed to be fitted to a car.