Goodyear presents 3D-printed spherical tire

9942fwregr_300Tire manufacturer Goodyear has presented a visionary new concept tire for the self-driving cars of tomorrow in a world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The firm’s Eagle-360 has an innovative spherical design and is 3D printed.

The tires of the future could not only be spherical, but may also connect to cars via magnetic levitation if Goodyear’s concept finds its way into the autonomous vehicles of tomorrow.

With its innovative design, the firm’s Eagle-360 hopes to offer the very best in maneuverability, safety and connectivity. Spherical-shaped tires effectively allow a car to drive sideways and make 360° turns, requiring less space to maneuver when parking, for example.

With their multi-directional design, the tires can turn more easily in all directions, reducing the risk of skidding and increasing safety. And, since the tires are 3D printed, they can be easily customized.
The Eagle-360 concept tire is loaded with internal sensors that monitor a number of parameters linked to driving conditions, like temperature, pressure and vibration. This data then feeds back to the car in real time. Sensors were also present in another concept tire presented by Goodyear in Geneva, the more conventionally designed IntelliGrip.

Rather than being connected directly to the car, Goodyear’s Eagle-360 tires are suspended in place by magnetic fields – in a similar way to certain types of trains – improving passenger comfort and reducing cabin noise.

Justifying its investment, Goodyear points to a study by Navigant Research, estimating that 85 million autonomous vehicles could be sold worldwide each year by 2035.