Goodyear presented a concept for a tilt-rotor-type device that would work as a tire on the road and a propeller in the air at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland on Tuesday. The Goodyear AERO concept involves a non-pneumatic structure with the flexibility to dampen shocks when driving and the strength to rotate at high enough speeds to create vertical lift. The concept was designed for autonomous VTOL “flying cars.”
“For over 120 years Goodyear has obsessively pursued innovations and inventions, partnering with the pioneers driving change and discovery in transport,” said Goodyear Chief Technology Officer Chris Helsel. “With mobility companies looking to the sky for the answer to the challenges of urban transport and congestion, our work on advanced tire architectures and materials led us to imagine a wheel that could serve both as a traditional tire on the road and as a propulsion system in the sky.”
As shown in the video below, the AERO concept would use magnetic force to provide frictionless propulsion. In addition, Goodyear says the design would include light-based, fiber optic sensors to monitor road conditions, tire wear and the structural integrity along with an embedded A.I. processor that would analyze vehicle data to allow for adaptions to flying or driving modes and to identify and resolve potential tire-related issues. According to Goodyear, while it is already working on technologies such as non-pneumatic structures and intelligent tire capabilities, the AERO design is purely conceptual and is intended to trigger debate on the future of tire and transport technologies.