Goodyear is no stranger to science fiction-esque concepts, such as the photosynthesis tyre, and the Aero flying car tyre. Like the term “concept” suggests, they’re mostly products based on out-of-the-box thinking, and would probably never see the light of day.
The latest concept by the American tyre company might be the most absurd yet, using one of the oldest science fiction trope of all time – technology in pill form. But is it weird that we think this is the one that should definitely be made into a real product?
Goodyear’s latest concept is called the reCharge Concept, and at its core (literally) is a reloadable and biodegradable tread compound, packaged into replaceable individual capsule form.
The capsules are filled with customised liquid compound that regenerates the treads automatically. By using capsules with different compounds, the tyre can be adapted to different driving conditions and climate circumstances without the need to replace the tyres.
With the help of artificial intelligence (another science-fiction buzzword, albeit a more realistic one), you will also be able to create a liquid compound customised specifically for you.
The capsule is placed in the middle of a narrow non-pneumatic frame, promising low-maintenance to the end user without the need to look after tyre pressure, or deal with punctures.
Goodyear also says that the reCharge concept is completely biodegradable. The compound would be made from biological material, reinforced with fibres inspired by one of the toughest natural materials in the world – spider silk. Aside from being sustainable, the material will also make the tyres “extremely durable”.
Of course, being a concept, Goodyear did not reveal how the reCharge will actually work, or if it’ll ever make it to the production line. But with tyre wear contributing to a large chunk of air pollution, it is about time that we think about how tyres are going to be made in the future.