Michelin’s airless tyre enters public road testing phase
The idea of an airless, open tyre is not new, but Michelin is the first tyre manufacturer to start testing prototypes on public roads – in cooperation with GM in Detroit.
The tyre is called Uptis (for Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) and will be deployed on a test fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs. Airless technology makes the Uptis eliminate flats and blowouts. This means Uptis offers significant potential for reducing the use of raw materials and waste.
Thanks to the airless tyre, the number of punctured or damaged tyres that are scrapped before reaching the end of their life cycle should go down drastically. Also, it reduces the use of energy for production and emissions linked to the manufacture of spare tires and replacement tires that are no longer required. Airless tyres should also last longer as there is no risk for irregular wear and tear caused by under or over inflation. Last but not least, it eliminates downtime and indirect costs caused by a flat tyre.
As to the market launch, GM expects the tyre to be available by 2024.