Michelin has recently unveiled its retreaded, airless tyres. Is this the end of the puncture problems and the beginning of a new era of tyres?
Michelin presented the prototype of the Uptis tyre. Uptis stands for Unique Puncture-proof Tire System. Tyres are not inflated by air. Instead, the manufacturer used a special rubber/fibreglass compound to create a flexible component that improves the comfort and safety of the vehicle occupants.
— Michelin (@Michelin) June 11, 2019
The Uptis design resembles a classic tyre. The aluminium rim is fitted with “spokes” for increased strength. Michelin also wants to develop a 3D print system that will allow the tyre to be fitted with a new tread. This will significantly increase the service life of the tyres. The tyre is designed for passenger cars and small SUVs.
Tests will start this year
Michelin and General Motors will start testing Uptis tyres later this year. They will be used as part of the pilotage in electric cars Chevrolet Bolt EV. If Michelin’s invention passes the tests successfully, GM will offer it as an option in its cars. Serial production of Uptis will start not sooner than in 5 years.
Photos by Steve Fecht for General Motors