Michelin's airless tires are scheduled for market launch in 2024

(interestingengineering.com)

229 points | by mardiyah 10 days ago

28 comments

  • gbil 10 days ago
    That "Hit the Streets" is an exaggeration, the actual quote from the article on timeline: -- the company said they were on track for tires to reach the market by 2024. --
    • I am an engineer working in the tire industry (throwaway is needed here). The Michelin "Tweel" IP was actually acquired when Michelin bought BF Goodrich 31 years ago. Goodrich developed the concept as a replacement for compact spare tires, doing the initial R&D in the 1980s. Every 3--5 years Michelin has a press release like this, and the technology is always 3--5 years away from release. Currently the US DOT and it's equivalents abroad are still in the rulemaking phase regarding airfree technologies, so there's that, too.
      • mcguire 9 days ago
        I've seen them quite a bit lately on commercial lawn mowers.

        Of course, there, puncture resistance trumps vehicle control and ride comfort by a large margin.

        • clairity 9 days ago
          i would love to see this or a similar technology for electric scooters. the tubes seem to reliably pop every dozen or so rides, and the current alternative solid/no-flat tires really compromise on ride quality and handling. larger wheels (they're usually in the 7-9" range) would help too, but there's probably a practical limit to how big the wheels can be, perhaps 12-15" without too much compromise (motor power and ergonomics being two limiting factors).
          • miketery 9 days ago
            The unagi scooter has them[1]. In all honesty, they're garbage for NYC. They are somewhat of a hard plastic, and do not provide the kind of give that your want for roads which have imperfections. It saddens me that peoples first impression of micro mobility is this piece of junk that makes riding scarier and more dangerous than it would be with air tires.

            It's likely possible to make a good airless tire, but I bet the materials would be expensive and I'm not sure what it's lifetime would be. Air tube tires remain the best option for micro mobility options.

            1 - https://unagiscooters.com/products/the-scooter/ (ctrl+F "tires")

            • clairity 9 days ago
              yah, i'm skeptical that a solid (rubber/plastic) tire can provide good suspension and handling performance cheaply across a wide variety of road hazards, in comparison to an air tire. that's why i think bigger tires (and thicker tubes) is probably the way to go, but perhaps advances in materials/manufacturing will make all kinds of tires incrementally better.
            • chromaton 9 days ago
              I was impressed by the Slime brand bike tire tubes. They're thicker rubber than the stock tubes and pre-filled with Slime self-sealing compound.
          • cscharenberg 9 days ago
            Thanks for explaining that. I feel like I heard about the "Tweel" in the 90s in Popular Mechanics, and occasionally since then.
            • mojomark 9 days ago
              > The Michelin "Tweel" IP was actually acquired when Michelin bought BF Goodrich 31 years ago.

              If thw core patent is 31 years old then that means it's been in the public domain for 11 years. Anyone should be able to make a variation thereof at this point - steering clear of other derivative patents of coarse.

              • barbazoo 9 days ago
                > the technology is always 3--5 years away from release

                just in time for Tesla's FSD then /s

                • godelski 9 days ago
                  What are the reasons for it constantly being 3-5 years away? Technology? Regulations? Both? Manufacturers not thinking the public will understand tradeoffs and unwilling to take the risk and explain this to them? Can it at least work as a spare tire?
                  • Decker87 9 days ago
                    I can't answer your question exactly, but I can add that regular air tires have advanced tremendously in the last 30 years. It's also a moving target for these airless ones to compete against.
                    • elif 8 days ago
                      3-5 years means selling an extra 750-1250 million waste tires.
                    • NikolaNovak 9 days ago
                      Thank you for perspective; I felt strongly that I've seen excited articles like this several times in the last decade or more. I was starting to wonder if I'm missing some changes or concepts that would explain the discrepancy :)
                      • avelis 9 days ago
                        The video looked like a fancy PR piece and that's it. Sad that this tech has been shelved for 31 years. Maybe there isn't a viable go to market strategy.
                        • vel0city 9 days ago
                          I grew up down the street from NASA. Airless tires was always just a few years away since I learned to ride a bike.
                          • HPsquared 9 days ago
                            NASA has some unique challenges because they usually can't use elastomers (too hot/cold), so their tires are usually metal.

                            Airless tires usually depend on a finely-tuned elastic polymer of some kind with a fairly narrow temperature range.

                        • dang 9 days ago
                          Ok, we've taken them off the streets and scheduled them for market launch in 2024, in the title above. Thanks :)
                          • Taniwha 9 days ago
                            I saw them on bikes in China 5 years ago .... perhaps they're already here
                            • sb057 9 days ago
                              I think it's supposed to be taken literally, per this paragraph:

                              >The company recently took the Uptis out in public for the first time and even invited a limited number of people for the test drive.

                            • sparsely 10 days ago
                              There have been a number of reports of components of rubber tiers being harmful to humans[1] or the broader environment[2] beyond the waste issue, would be interesting to know if these manage to improve on that.

                              [1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/11/pollutin... [2] https://www.opb.org/article/2020/12/04/scientists-point-to-c...

                              • jillesvangurp 10 days ago
                                If it's biodegradable, that would help. Only what remains of the tires ends up in landfills/recycled. The rest is a major contributor to microplastics in our oceans. The tires don't just erode into nothing. Those particles (mixed with particles from the road service) become dust that ends up in sewers when it rains, which drain to rivers, which drain to oceans. By the time the tire is used up, we're talking a sizable amount of material. Vulcanized rubber is nasty; it doesn't really break down (that is the whole point of vulcanizing) that easily and is also toxic.
                                • Robotbeat 9 days ago
                                  Dust generally is bad, too.

                                  EDITING to provide source because I was downvoted. All types, including rail dust: https://www.railway-technology.com/features/feature-air-in-u...

                                  • veemjeem 9 days ago
                                    Has anyone done analysis on microplastics to figure out what percentage are from vulcanized rubber? It's probably a high percentage, but would be nice to have an actual scientific study on the figure.
                                  • Pxtl 9 days ago
                                    This is one of the many reasons I'm firmly in the "urbanization or bust" camp. Rail-based infrastructure is lower-carbon, doesn't require batteries, and doesn't require tires, but it's only practical in high-density cities. Streetcar suburbs represent a reasonable minimum.
                                    • verve_rat 9 days ago
                                      I don't really see how that is possible, biodegradable tires sounds like a really bad idea.

                                      I guess you could look for a material that becomes biodegradable after wearing down. Does anything like that exist in any form at the moment?

                                      • nebula8804 9 days ago
                                        Can vulcanized rubber be broken down by something like Hydrous pyrolysis?
                                        • 22c 9 days ago
                                          I don't know enough about chemical engineering, but there was a tyre recycling company called Pyrolyx AG that went bankrupt last year. I think they were doing something along the lines of what you're talking about but they failed to commercialize and the pandemic accelerated their demise.
                                        • question002 9 days ago
                                          I have biodegradable tires in a pile next to my screen doors designed for submarines.
                                        • rjsw 10 days ago
                                          Michelin is French, the tyres will all end up getting burnt during protests.
                                        • wing-_-nuts 9 days ago
                                          I wonder about ride quality.

                                          My car had runflats when I bought it, when it was time for new tires, I went with some high quality all seasons. My ride quality improved, my gas mileage went up and they brake / corner better. The risk of an unplugable flat is a small price to pay for that.

                                          • jrgaston 9 days ago
                                            Run flat tires are expensive, heavy, and hard riding. On the other hand, they don't go flat. I recently had a flat in my VW and I missed having my old Mini's run flats. Sometimes you just aren't in a place where you want to change a tire.
                                            • Stratoscope 9 days ago
                                              I've always had conventional tires, but when my Kia Rondo was due for new ones a few years ago, my tire guy suggested the Bridgestone DriveGuard. I was skeptical because of everything I'd heard about run flats, but he said these were a big improvement. And he was right! They feel just like conventional tires.

                                              Maybe a bit harder ride, but I had been in the habit of inflating my old tires 2-3 pounds more than the manufacturer recommendation. So I brought these back down to the recommended 32psi and they are just fine. And they proved their worth when I got to a job interview on time even after getting a flat - and when I went to the tire shop it was a free repair instead of a new tire.

                                              • exhilaration 9 days ago
                                                My Toyota Sienna AWD (with run flats) doesn't have a spare tire, so sometimes you CAN'T even change a tire!
                                              • brink 9 days ago
                                                These tires look like they use about 4x the rubber.
                                              • jaclaz 10 days ago
                                                >Through its Vision Concept, the company wants to make tires that are airless, rechargeable, connected, and sustainable.

                                                1) airless, check.

                                                2) rechargeable ??

                                                3) connected ??

                                                4) sustainable ??

                                                • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                  >rechargeable

                                                  >sustainable

                                                  "retreadable" but the marketing department didn't think that had sufficient appeal for the demographics the press release was targeted it.

                                                  • jagger27 9 days ago
                                                    It's common for aircraft and other heavy duty equipment's tires to be retreaded. Seems like a reasonable thing to do on passenger vehicles if it can be scaled.
                                                    • mikestew 9 days ago
                                                      It used to be done for passenger car tires. A quick search says one can still find recapped tires if determined. But why isn't it more common, when it was common about 40-50 years ago? Well, that time began to approach the time I spent as a mechanic, and the reason was cheap, imported tires that were starting to come out of Asian factories. I can sell you a retread, or you can have a brand new tire from some off-brand for about the same money, and guess which was chosen more often?

                                                      This link seems to line up with what I remember from 40 years ago:

                                                      https://www.treadwright.com/blogs/treadwright-blog/are-retre...

                                                      If the Michelin's are built with retreading in mind, should work fine. After all, it always did before. :-)

                                                      • hermitdev 9 days ago
                                                        It's also common for semis to shed retreads at highway speeds. Having hit one on the highway, no thanks. We don't need more highway missiles and debris, which is precisely what would happen if retreads were common on passenger vehicles.
                                                        • Alupis 9 days ago
                                                          This was the number one problem with retreads for the trucking industry, and most mechanics viewed retreads as cheap (the bad kind of cheap), low quality ways to keep trucks rolling, preferring new wherever possible.

                                                          Perhaps the tech has matured some, but I doubt it. You're still attempting to bond two different soft materials.

                                                          • thereddaikon 9 days ago
                                                            I haven't done too much long distance driving since COVID hit but I remember seeing shed retreads last time I was on the interstate. I always thought it was amazing that semis could get away with shedding them and driving away leaving at the least trash on the side of the road and at worst causing a dangerous accident.
                                                            • Alupis 9 days ago
                                                              Well, they don't really "get away" with shedding them. It's the equivalent of a blowout. Part of the reason they have such a bad reputation among semi mechanics.
                                                        • mcguire 9 days ago
                                                          Something like 45% of commercial tires are retreads and something like 90% of large fleets use retreads (https://www.worktruckonline.com/10128897/last-miles-growing-..., https://www.tirereview.com/revisiting-consumer-retreads/).

                                                          On the other hand, I'm not sure about retreading tires with higher speed ratings.

                                                          • dylan604 9 days ago
                                                            yeah, that feels about right for all of the swerving required to avoid running over the retreads that have let go and now lay in the middle of the highways.
                                                      • dotancohen 10 days ago
                                                        Rechargeable: Adding tread.

                                                        Connected: Reports tread status and configuration, e.g. to inform the driver that he should change to a winter tire tread.

                                                        Sustainable: Recycled and recyclable.

                                                        • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                          >Connected: Reports tread status and configuration, e.g. to inform the driver that he should change to a winter tire tread.

                                                          That sounds like everything that's terrible about printer ink but with the decimal moved once to the right.

                                                          I can imagine a world where your tires stop working because you had them re-treaded with a tread pattern or the OEM won't honor a warranty item because you didn't use an approved brand of retread.

                                                          • i_am_proteus 10 days ago
                                                            Your printer running out of ink does not have an associated risk of death and injury. Tire wear does.

                                                            Existing air-filled tires are already "connected" on modern vehicles - pressure sensors that link to the vehicle's on-board diagnostics and inform the driver of low pressure, often before there's any other visible, audible, or mechanical indication that the tire has a leak.

                                                            • pandaman 9 days ago
                                                              Modern cars have tons of sensors but none of them are in the consumable parts such as tires[+]. It's important because it means you can use any consumables (gas, oil, coolant, washer liquid, tires) as long as they meet objective physical requirements the car expects.

                                                              If the tires provide enough traction and are of the correct size then any modern car will work with them fine. "Connected" tires sounds like there is a direct (as opposed to the car measuring the tire's shape in the TPMS from your example) information exchange between the tire and the car, something that does not happen now and appears to be susceptible to the same marketing practices printer manufacturers use.

                                                              [+] Some cars have "sensors" in the brake pads, which amounts to a wire loop inside the pad, which gets cut as the pad wears down, owners of these cars are not happy about this "feature".

                                                              • zardo 9 days ago
                                                                >"Connected" tires sounds like there is a direct (as opposed to the car measuring the tire's shape in the TPMS from your example) information exchange between the tire and the car, something that does not happen now

                                                                Michelin sells a tire mounted TPMS, also available pre-installed.

                                                                https://business.michelinman.com/construction-industry/servi...

                                                                • pandaman 9 days ago
                                                                  Not for cars, though. There is probably a market for tire monitoring in mining equipment, which is probably not constructed with the same built-in systems that consumer cars have.
                                                                  • mrguyorama 9 days ago
                                                                    You are incorrect. Most modern cars have TPMS to tell you when a tire is losing air. There are two ways to do it. Either you use the same signals ABS uses to tell how fast each wheel is spinning and look at the tire which spins at a different speed.

                                                                    The other way is to have actual pressure sensors inline with the valves that wirelessly communicate with a system in the car. This method has the upside of allowing you to see constant tire pressure values on all four tires at all times. The downside is that it is more expensive, it's something that must be managed when you get tires or wheels changed, the batteries run out, you often have to pair each wheel-sensor to the car separately so that it knows which sensor is which wheel...

                                                                    This is an example system: https://www.ebay.com/itm/402816216014?epid=21038233158&_trkp...

                                                                    • pandaman 9 days ago
                                                                      I am not sure if you replied to the correct message but I did mention that modern cars have TPMS. If you are actually arguing against my description of the principles this system works on (monitoring the wheel shape through the rotation speed) then perhaps you should have not posted a link to sensors for such a system. I somehow don't see how a passive device can monitor any pressure least communicate wirelessly. But even if such system existed it would still have been mounted in the wheel, not in the tire on modern cars.
                                                                      • IIsi50MHz 9 days ago
                                                                        If I'm reading your posts correctly, you're saying that tire pressure sensors are not mounted in tires of common cars. This may be true in EU and other places where I think monitoring rotation rate of each wheel is typical; in USA, as far as I can tell, most tire pressure monitors are indeed wireless devices mounted inside the tires in connection with the valve stem. This is the case with my car, which is an American variant.
                                                                        • pandaman 9 days ago
                                                                          I am in the USA, all cars I have seen here have valve stem in the wheels (rims). What kind of car you have that has valves in the tire?
                                                              • m463 9 days ago
                                                                "Your printer running out of ink does not have an associated risk of death and injury."

                                                                I'm sure the printer manufacturers can remove some hardware interlocks to make using manufacturer ink safety-critical.

                                                              • jaclaz 10 days ago
                                                                Don't forget fridges:

                                                                https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28478438

                                                                Will single tyres e-mail you singularly or as a group?

                                                                I mean:

                                                                Hi, I am your left front tyre and wished to tell you how ...

                                                                or:

                                                                We, the tyres of your car, have determined that ...

                                                                • mpol 10 days ago
                                                                  It might work similar to low pressure, where you see the wheel light up on the dashboard. Ofcourse the human part can make the decision on what to do about it, and if you want to replace tyres, how many at once.
                                                                  • dreamcompiler 10 days ago
                                                                    Personally I welcome our new Tyrius Cybernetics Corporation overlords.
                                                                  • treeman79 10 days ago
                                                                    Truck tires are retreaded all the time. It’s why you see bits of tread on the highway. They do fall off now and then.

                                                                    Apparently saves a lot of money.

                                                                    • mikepurvis 10 days ago
                                                                      Surely it saves a lot of rubber waste too? Like 90%+ of the rubber mass of a typical tire must be in the parts that never contact the road and therefore should be good forever?
                                                                      • wcarron 9 days ago
                                                                        Unfortunately not the case. Tires go through lots of heat and stress cycles. I think most of the heat a tire generates isn't from friction with the road, even. It's internal friction within the tire itself. The carcasses are made of wires/meshes/layers of aramids/steel/aluminum and aren't indestructible, even if durable.

                                                                        And the rubber on the sidewalls gets degraded by sun/dirt/sand/etc, too.

                                                                        • mikepurvis 9 days ago
                                                                          True, true. But from the picture in the article, it sure looks like there's a heck of a lot less rubber overall in this tire— so regardless of what it's been historically, this is a step toward a tire that "consumes" way, way less rubber per X distance of driving, whether due to less rubber being in it overall, or it being able to be recharged with additional tread before being disposed of.
                                                                      • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                        Tires where purchasing decisions are driven almost exclusively by cost per time or distance are routinely retreaded. But that does not describe the passenger car tire market.
                                                                        • linsomniac 9 days ago
                                                                          Doesn't it? I mean, I get that some people want to try a different make/model of tire when replacing it for performance/noise/appearance, I've been one of those people at times.

                                                                          But I also think there are plenty of people who get the tire that's available to them and reducing the cost per year of use would be welcome.

                                                                          I will say that having an EV, the cost of tires really stands out. In 60K miles the only maintenance expenses I've had have been tires and a windshield. Even the ongoing cost of charging is basically invisible (plug in at home, free on the road), so tires have been about half the money I've put into it, it feels like.

                                                                          • throwawayboise 9 days ago
                                                                            I remember retreads being a thing you could buy for your car in the 1970s/80s. I remember local radio ads from retread shops. I haven't heard of passenger car retreads in decades though, so I don't think it's really done anymore.
                                                                          • robocat 9 days ago
                                                                            In New Zealand you could get tyres retreaded decades ago, however it was banned for light vehicles, due to safety reasons I believe.

                                                                            Truck and specialty tyres in NZ still get retreaded by a company called Bandag, and you sometimes see detached tread at the side of the road. I am guessing that retreads are only allowed for dual tyres on trailers, where if a tyre fails it isn’t catastrophic. I imagine they are not allowed for the critical front steering/braking tyres on the tractor unit.

                                                                        • Spivak 9 days ago
                                                                          It's only terrible because we've created a system that incentivizes it being made purposely terrible for profit. The idea that your tires can monitor their own wear should be a good thing.
                                                                          • Arrath 9 days ago
                                                                            Plain old TPMS is finnicky enough, I can imagine this would have plenty more problems.
                                                                          • JohnWhigham 10 days ago
                                                                            A very small fraction of plastics are recyclable. I highly doubt whatever this tire is, it's not recyclable.
                                                                            • gumby 10 days ago
                                                                              They answered that part: using recycled plastic and making the tyre recyclable and organic(!) are “in the future”

                                                                              Reducing the amount of particulate pollution, however, is apparently not part of the remit.

                                                                              • endswapper 10 days ago
                                                                                This is not true. Essentially, all plastics are recyclable, and it merely depends on the technology available.
                                                                                • I guess that depends on how you define recyclable. I mean really, everything recycles given a long enough time frame.
                                                                                  • endswapper 9 days ago
                                                                                    I mean recyclable in a conventional sense the way most people understand it.

                                                                                    Energy cost is probably the single biggest obstacle for the technology I mentioned above. Renewable energy is changing this.

                                                                                    Most plastics will soon be a part of an efficient closed loop system. Regulations are driving some of this. However, the real driver is that these systems are incredibly profitable, and serve risk and resource management priorities as well.

                                                                                    I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon and others started accepting plastics and paper returns. Their consumption is massive and they already have a logistics closed loop in place.

                                                                                    Plastics are an incredible innovation and a valuable resource. Misinformation about their recyclability is a threat to their stewardship.

                                                                                    • The technology may exist to recycle plastics, but at least where I live, there is No infrastructure for it to happen. So no, it isn’t recyclable in reality.

                                                                                      Can you point me to something that describes these closed loop systems? What you are saying sounds like a paid advertisement.

                                                                          • adrianmonk 9 days ago
                                                                            Official info on those 4 points:

                                                                            https://www.michelin.com/en/innovation/vision-concept/

                                                                            It is a company vision, not a product announcement, so as expected much of it is fuzzy and hypothetical, and it may or may not apply to this particular product.

                                                                            But this part offers a clearer idea of what rechargeable means:

                                                                            > The tread can be “recharged” using a 3D printer, which means that VISION can be adapted to motorists’ changing needs, for maximum comfort, safety and sustainability.

                                                                            They also have an official page for this actual product line, which is called Uptis (Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System):

                                                                            https://michelinmedia.com/michelin-uptis/

                                                                            The FAQ on this latter page says stuff relevant to sustainability:

                                                                            > Today’s level of rolling resistance is about the same as a zero-pressure (“run flat”) tire

                                                                            ...

                                                                            > Uptis will have the same mileage of a standard tire.

                                                                            I believe this is an important part of sustainability because if mileage were worse, you'd gain in one area (reduced waste) and lose in another (increased energy usage). So if mileage really is the same, that's a good thing.

                                                                            • OneEyedRobot 10 days ago
                                                                              5) diverse

                                                                              ...and then you've got something.

                                                                              I'm actually surprised that I've never seen a tire with some kind of closed-cell super lightweight foam, some kind of aerogel maybe. I suppose the problem in that case is that you can't spread heat throughout the whole interior.

                                                                              Which makes me wonder, how do they radiate heat on this Michelin? Does it stick around the outer surface and that's it? Do the 'spokes' bear it away somehow?

                                                                              • dntrkv 10 days ago
                                                                                In the off-road motorcycle industry there are these tubes called mousse bibs. I run them on all my bikes. They do replace the inner tubes, not the tires themselves. But they work great and are the best anti-flat solution out there. They sound similar to what you’re talking about. Michelin makes them too.

                                                                                https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/michelin-bib-mousse-tire...

                                                                                • illegalsmile 9 days ago
                                                                                  I have something similar for my mountain bike, CushCore. They don't replace inner tubes (tubeless setup) but they do add a lot of protection, dampening and deflection.
                                                                                  • robocat 9 days ago
                                                                                    The name “Bib mousse” was created by Michelin - Bib is short for Bibendum, which is the name of the Michelin man, and mousse is French for foam.
                                                                                • asciimike 9 days ago
                                                                                  Re 3: Michelin has a "track connect" for their track tires ( https://www.michelinman.com/auto/why-michelin/technological-...)

                                                                                  I haven't used it, and most serious track rats have a separate data system so the track connect features are potentially redundant, but I assume that it's an MVP of what a consumer product might look like in the future.

                                                                                  • mrpopo 10 days ago
                                                                                    The embedded video seems to show that you can 3d-print on top of an existing tire, which would let you "recharge" for a certain number of km. It's also more sustainable that way.
                                                                                    • jaclaz 10 days ago
                                                                                      Hmmm, I doubt about the actual duration of something just 3D printed over, in the sense of adhesion, I remember the process to join (rubber based) watertight expansion joints and it involved (after preparation of surfaces and application of adhesive) some half hour pressed into a heated aluminium cast. (and the procedure is similar AFAIK for retreading tyres currently in use)

                                                                                      On the other hand, they were common in Italy in the '70's and '80's, there were truck tyres that instead of being re-treaded with the "hot" process above were thinned and grooved on a sort of lathe and then a monolithic external "ring" that included the tread on the outside and matching grooves inside was applied, when the tyre was inflated the grooves and the pression made the two stay together (until the tyre was punctured, it was not so rare that you could find on roads these outer rings lost by some truck that had a flat wheel).

                                                                                    • mc32 10 days ago
                                                                                      Buzzword stuffing.

                                                                                      With regard to sustainable, well, I guess they could return to the jungles of Malaysia and Brazil for caoutchouc…

                                                                                      • noipv4 9 days ago
                                                                                        1) airless?? there's air within the wheel spokes pressurized to 1 atm
                                                                                        • fred_is_fred 9 days ago
                                                                                          #3 you'll end up paying $200/tire plus a monthly fee to use them. Upgrade to premium and get unlimited mileage plus insights on how you can be a better driver!
                                                                                          • leetcrew 9 days ago
                                                                                            more like insights for your insurer on how much to jack up your premiums.
                                                                                            • jrockway 9 days ago
                                                                                              I guess as part of this subscription plan they'll call you forty five times a day trying to get you to upgrade the warranty on the tires. At least there are a lot of qualified contractors they can outsource that to!
                                                                                          • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                                            Even if these tires aren't good enough for the snobs who want everything to be silent and handle perfectly they'll be great for trailers, yard trucks and other rarely used vehicles that rack up few miles and run run old-ish tires (which tend to be more plagued by slow leaks and whatnot) but still need to go highway speed.
                                                                                            • letmeinhere 10 days ago
                                                                                              Road noise isn't just a driver aesthetic preference, it's a form of pollution that has direct impacts on human and animal health.

                                                                                              I could still be convinced that the sustainability or safety (from fewer blowouts) gains of these would outweigh that, but it's important to consider beings outside of the auto cabin.

                                                                                              • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                                                Rubber material properties (hardness basically) is a rounding error compared to tread design in terms of road noise and the dominant factor in terms of how long it takes the tire to wear down.
                                                                                                • tokai 10 days ago
                                                                                                  Do you have any sources to back that up? All the literature I find is pointing to tire vibrations, which I would guess is a mix of material properties, tread design, and more.
                                                                                                  • N1H1L 10 days ago
                                                                                                    Not true absolutely. The rubber hardness is highly temperature dependent, and is modified by tinkering with your glass transition temperature. Winter tires have a lower glass transition temperature (are softer at lower temperatures), and as a result will wear down much, much faster in summer.
                                                                                                • tokai 10 days ago
                                                                                                  Nothing snobbish about wanting silent tires. Tires are one of the main factors for road noise, and road noise causes adverse health effects and death on a large scale.
                                                                                                  • ashtonkem 10 days ago
                                                                                                    It’s also a decent chunk of what causes economic blight for housing nearby highways.
                                                                                                    • coryrc 9 days ago
                                                                                                      I would think it's the air pollution reducing your lifespan and causing asthma.

                                                                                                      https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6203a8.htm

                                                                                                      • rootusrootus 9 days ago
                                                                                                        The air pollution near a highway may be measurable, but it is not immediately visible. The road noise, on the other hand, is overwhelming as soon as you step outside. For sure road noise drives more of the blight on housing value near high speed highways.
                                                                                                        • ashtonkem 9 days ago
                                                                                                          You’ll notice I said “decent chunk” and not “100% of the cause”
                                                                                                        • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                                                          Any noise a normal-ish passenger car is of no consequence compared to the noise of heavy trucks and motorcycles. You don't even notice it.

                                                                                                          It's only "blighted" because the people who self select to live beside a highway tend not to be the ones who care a ton about making their residence look nice from the street (manicured lawn, nice siding, sealed driveway, etc, etc) so the prices stay cheap, the rents stay low and the cycle continues.

                                                                                                          Source: I live beside a highway

                                                                                                          • ashtonkem 9 days ago
                                                                                                            “Houses nearby highways are low value because the owners are too lazy to manicure their lawns” is an explanation I don’t buy one bit. It’s too “just so” for my tastes, and it also contradicts my own personal experience of having my house value go up despite us purposefully killing the yard. Home values change for a lot of reasons outside the owners control; blaming it on the owners for not caring sufficiently about curb appeal doesn’t hold water.

                                                                                                            A more likely explanation is that living near a highway sucks. Very few people want to hear traffic noise from their back yard, let alone smell exhaust fumes while trying to grill outside. People who can afford to will pay a premium for a quiet and peaceful backyard, and houses with traffic noise close to them will command a lower price to compensate for the lowered quality of life. The fact that we see a similar effect near airport runways is a supporting data point.

                                                                                                            I would in fact argue that you’ve got causation backwards. The curb appeal of houses near the highway is low because the home values are low. The people who live there are aware that nothing they can do will push the home value up because of the highway, or they lack the time and resources to focus on a manicured lawn.

                                                                                                            • robocat 9 days ago
                                                                                                              I suspect a significant causation could be that living near a highway is low status, and having a beautifully manicured lawn is often about trying to signal high status. Why bother with a high status lawn on a low status property?
                                                                                                            • throwaway0a5e 9 days ago
                                                                                                              >“Houses nearby highways are low value because the owners are too lazy to manicure their lawns”

                                                                                                              Well you're in luck because if you re-read my comment without the intent of building a strawman you'll see that that's not my explanation. My explanation is more or less "selection bias" I tried to offer some examples as to the mechanisms of such selection but you read right past them.

                                                                                                              >A more likely explanation is that living near a highway sucks.

                                                                                                              I like it specifically because people "who are willing to pay a premium for a quiet and peaceful back yard" do not elect to live in places like this if they have the option of paying that premium. This means I am free to use power tools into the evening, the business across the street is free to use heavy equipment in the morning, my neighbors are free to play loud music, have barking dogs, yell at their kids, etc. etc. etc. Things like not having to be anal about cutting our grass and keeping our houses nice follow quite naturally from that. If you don't care about other people's business in a similar manner the cost savings from living in this environment are tempting.

                                                                                                              >The fact that we see a similar effect near airport runways is a supporting data point.

                                                                                                              Yes, people who care about noise avoid those too. What's your point.

                                                                                                              >I would in fact argue that you’ve got causation backwards. The curb appeal of houses near the highway is low because the home values are low

                                                                                                              Values are low because a subset of people don't want to live here. Selection bias applies to both groups increasing the disparity.

                                                                                                              You are foolishly projecting your opinions onto everyone. Some people simply don't care about the noise. They cluster where it is noisy because why would they pay more to avoid something they don't place a high value on avoiding. Are these people a minority when you look at the population overall? Probably. Are these neighborhoods composed of many people who simply tolerate noise because they have no other rational option. You call this blight but I call this a reflection of our priorities.

                                                                                                            • Jackim 10 days ago
                                                                                                              I disagree. The difference that I and many other people noticed on city streets during the initial COVID lockdowns was enormous. Cities aren’t loud places, the continuous white noise from passing passenger vehicles is the loud part.

                                                                                                              60 km/h traffic is 10 times louder than people having a conversation.

                                                                                                              • ygra 10 days ago
                                                                                                                Even 30 km/h is far from silent. Especially around intersections and traffic lights. And when you have trucks or buses accelerating it almost doesn't matter that a typical small car doesn't make that much noise at that speed anymore.
                                                                                                              • anonAndOn 9 days ago
                                                                                                                Living near a highway can have profound and long-lasting detrimental effects to one's health.[0]

                                                                                                                [0]https://www.lung.org/clean-air/outdoors/who-is-at-risk/highw...

                                                                                                            • sailfast 10 days ago
                                                                                                              Death on a large scale? This is the first time I’m hearing of this and I’d be interested to read more. Do you happen to have a study or something I can read?
                                                                                                            • barbazoo 9 days ago
                                                                                                              It'll be interesting to hear those on a EV whose afaik main source of noise are the tires.
                                                                                                            • > snobs who want everything to be silent and handle perfectly

                                                                                                              Ugh, handling == safety, my friend

                                                                                                              • dhd415 10 days ago
                                                                                                                Michelin has been selling these under the "Tweel" name[0] for skid steers, commercial lawn mowers, and other mid-sized wheeled equipment for several years now. Supposedly, they improve the handling and ride of the equipment since the Tweel's internal structure flexes more than an air-filled tire and therefore adds more of a suspension to the tractor.

                                                                                                                [0] https://tweel.michelinman.com/light-construction-products.ht...

                                                                                                                • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                                                                  I know. But unfortunately they're not rated for (and don't last long at, tread tends to separate) road speeds.

                                                                                                                  Various manufacturers have been teasing "airless" prototypes for highway use for a long time. I hope this one actually goes somewhere.

                                                                                                              • daxfohl 10 days ago
                                                                                                                I was expecting yet another minor convenience that doubled the ecological footprint of a thing. But it looks like reducing impact was actually a goal here. Pretty awesome.
                                                                                                                • makomk 10 days ago
                                                                                                                  They're trying to spin it as reducing the environmental impact, but the actual details in the article seem iffy. Glass fibre reinforced plastic is basically non-recyclable and they only have some vague ambition to make them out of something that is at some unspecified point in the future.
                                                                                                                  • daxfohl 10 days ago
                                                                                                                    Yeah greenwashing is a thing and even a lot of stuff that genuinely well-intentioned can have externalities that outweigh the benefit. But at least it looks like they're trying.
                                                                                                                • StefanHamminga 10 days ago
                                                                                                                  The concept looks interesting, but I wonder what will happen when a car or trailer with these drives a road with snow / and or grit?

                                                                                                                  The open structure looks perfect for launching anything that will go into the slots into other traffic.

                                                                                                                  • FuriouslyAdrift 10 days ago
                                                                                                                    There's a video on how it performs in snow.

                                                                                                                    https://michelinmedia.com/site/user/files/44/MNA342_Uptis_Sn...

                                                                                                                    • troglonoid 10 days ago
                                                                                                                      I don’t think this video shows how it performs in snow if we consider usage beyond a parking maneuver.
                                                                                                                    • HeyLaughingBoy 9 days ago
                                                                                                                      Yes, but that's a known issue that has nothing to do with it being airless.

                                                                                                                      Back when I used to go off-roading a lot it was common behavior to leave a lot of space between you and the truck ahead when you got back onto a paved road. The open tread pattern of offroad tires picks up lots of small rocks and sends them flying back at highway speed. Not good for the windshield on the following vehicle.

                                                                                                                      I live on a gravel road now. You learn not to follow other vehicles too closely!

                                                                                                                    • kazinator 9 days ago
                                                                                                                      > Puncture-proof tires have been an intriguing concept for many years. Tire maker, Michelin, has been working on it since 2005 and after more than a decade of work, it is now closer to reality.

                                                                                                                      That is false. Tires like this are nothing hew; they have been around for over 100 years. They are useful in niche applications, like earth-moving machinery and whatnot.

                                                                                                                      Other than that, airless tires are rubbish and will not displace pneumatic tires.

                                                                                                                      https://www.ikkaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ruedas-sin...

                                                                                                                      http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/414262.jpg

                                                                                                                      • LeoPanthera 9 days ago
                                                                                                                        I have airless tires on my bicycle. They are slightly firmer than regular tires, but the trade-off for knowing I will literally never get a puncture is more than worth it.

                                                                                                                        They are not “rubbish”.

                                                                                                                        • kazinator 9 days ago
                                                                                                                          Short of obviously poor quality components, materials and builds, almost nothing is objectively rubbish in cycling, because cycling is about experimentation and personal choices, which can be all over the place.

                                                                                                                          A lot of cycling is recreational and light commuting, and so performance factors do not matter.

                                                                                                                          Airless tires are certainly right for someone who abhors punctures and wants to avoid them at all costs. Factors like efficiency, weight or ride quality don't necessarily matter his or her use case, or even if they somewhat do, they are overridden by the abhorrence of having to pull off to the side and deal with a flat.

                                                                                                                          Yet, even though cycling is the one sphere where airless tires could have a chance, is is overwhelmingly dominated by pneumatics, just like motorism.

                                                                                                                          I don't think you will see anyone place well in a road cycling competition, if they bring airless tires. But, well, so what? A lot of the bicycle tech is driven from the top down by the competitive sport; and maybe that results in certain technical choices being promulgated at the entry retail level that are not necessarily relevant to every user.

                                                                                                                      • Lio 9 days ago
                                                                                                                        These remind me of the Tannus[1] solid bike tyres that have been around for (...guessing from memory...) about a decade now.

                                                                                                                        I think last time I looked that them the rolling resistance was a little more than I'd like on my "fun" bikes but for commuting that they look great option.

                                                                                                                        I think my personal preference for a "ride flat" system would be for a tubeless tyre, sealant and an insert like Tannus' Armour Tubeless (...or tubs I guess)

                                                                                                                        1. https://tannustires.com/en/

                                                                                                                        • bufferoverflow 10 days ago
                                                                                                                          How do they deal with rocks/mud/dirt/sand getting inside?
                                                                                                                          • maxcan 10 days ago
                                                                                                                            I suspect the production version will have a covering on the sidewall for that and to reduce aerodynamic drag. It won’t be structural like current tires but I think the “wall-free” design you see now is Just prototype marketing.
                                                                                                                            • lstodd 10 days ago
                                                                                                                              That will interfere with cooling. Heat buildup will reduce lifespan.

                                                                                                                              This was researched and practiced since at least first world war, with pioneering applications dating to 1850s.

                                                                                                                              TLDR: internal friction in the rubber kills it. Acceptable for military and heavy-duty vehicles, useless for anything else.

                                                                                                                              • tokai 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                Good that they are glass fiber reinforced plastic and not rubber then.
                                                                                                                                • lstodd 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                  Tires were hemp-reinfoced plastic, then steel-reinforced plastic, they are now actually fiberglass-reinforced plastic.

                                                                                                                                  It doesn't matter. So long as elasticity is provided not by gas compression, but solid material compression/tension, that solid material will deteriorate fast.

                                                                                                                                  Downvote me all you want, but this idea won't fly. It can't compete with regular tires at anything above 20mph.

                                                                                                                            • adrianmonk 9 days ago
                                                                                                                              Their FAQ (downloadable from https://michelinmedia.com/michelin-uptis/) does address this:

                                                                                                                              > 21. What will happen if some small stones or mud or snow get in between the structure of Uptis?

                                                                                                                              > The objective during the development of the commercial product is to test Uptis in all of these situations. Some preliminary tests show that stones, mud or ice/snow will not stay inside the Uptis structure.

                                                                                                                              Obviously preliminary tests aren't anywhere near enough to prove it's a nonissue, though.

                                                                                                                              • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                It wouldn't be too crazy of an engineering trick to make the pores flex in a manner that causes them to crap out anything that's clogging them as the tire goes around.
                                                                                                                                • croon 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                  I'm hoping that's a prototype that just shows the structure inside and not the final design. But I guess we'll find out, or they will in that trial.
                                                                                                                                  • dhd415 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                    Alloy wheels have had open designs for decades and that hasn't been a problem for them.
                                                                                                                                    • adrianmonk 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                      Alloy wheels don't need to flex, though. If a rock wedges into nooks and crannies of this, perhaps it could mess up the performance. And perhaps it could cause damage since you'd have a harder material (rock) rubbing against a softer one (rubbery airless tire stuff).
                                                                                                                                      • Cthulhu_ 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                        Those have bigger and fewer holes, and they don't look like an ant's nest.
                                                                                                                                        • CountDrewku 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                          Tires are different than wheels....
                                                                                                                                        • xmdx 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                          Looks like a complete pass through from one side to the other so washing them should remove most of that. Rocks might even fall out as the tyre rotates.
                                                                                                                                        • Scoundreller 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                          This website is funny in the EU. I have to scroll to the bottom of the disclosure before it lets me press “reject all”, as if I would care about exactly what I’m rejecting.
                                                                                                                                          • cge 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                            It is perhaps useful to consider the entirety of the disclosure, however, in that it would let you know that by pressing "reject all", it appears that you are allowing all their listed purposes: they claim legitimate interest for every purpose they list. Reading further, after scrolling through one list of around 700 partners, you would also find a second list of what appears to be around 700 other partners, with, it appears, likely around 300-400 legitimate interest switches, all defaulting to on.
                                                                                                                                            • kwhitefoot 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                              Not for me. But I'm running uBlock Origin with Javascript disabled. It rendered perfectly.
                                                                                                                                              • GavinMcG 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                Then how did you reject the cookies?
                                                                                                                                                • cassepipe 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                  Sometimes I see "Accept" on some website. Are some cookies opt-in and other opt-out depending on the legislation ?
                                                                                                                                                  • kristofferR 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                    I think they aren't allowed to use the tracking cookies before you've given permission.
                                                                                                                                                    • GavinMcG 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                      That depends on jurisdiction. In the U.S. there are plenty of sites that opt you in, and either allow you to reject or don't but link to their privacy policy (which then might say "we don't care about your privacy").
                                                                                                                                              • boyaintbright 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                These look like they will quickly collect debris, become unbalanced, and vibrate horribly at highway speeds.
                                                                                                                                                • RC_ITR 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                  What would stop them from putting on sidewalls in production?
                                                                                                                                                  • datameta 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                    That would be a separate engineering problem. If it needs to be a different rubber or polymer compound then there's the bonding issue. They would need to have an air outlet to avoid pressure differential, but that then means one needs to figure out how to have a cheap waterproof valve because it probably is not desirable to have stagnant water inside.
                                                                                                                                                • hnarn 8 days ago
                                                                                                                                                  This seems like an excellent idea for a spare tire, since those usually only lie around for a long time in the boot, and when they do get used it's expected that they don't perform exactly as the regular tires.

                                                                                                                                                  For some reason though, it seems like a lot of car manufacturers are moving away from spare tires to things like "car puncture kits" that fill your tire with foam or something. If the recycling of tires was abysmal before, something like that seems like it would make it even worse.

                                                                                                                                                  • OOvsuOO 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                    Anyone know the lifetime of the threads or tire? How often will they have to be replaced? So if it's the same it's not really much of a improvement. Just for the luxury of being "airfree". There will be some negative aspects or tradeoffs to be made with the tire? Companies are in it to make money and surely they won't make a new time that is 100x lasting than the current because that will be a losing proposition in their view.
                                                                                                                                                    • yoz-y 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                      > Rechargeable, connected and sustainable

                                                                                                                                                      Hmm. Do these have batteries and computers inside? Do they have to? Making things “smart” usually decreases the time span.

                                                                                                                                                      • martimarkov 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                        In the concept video it’s shown that a 3D printer can print layers on top of the tyre. I think this is what they meant by rechargeable - the ability to “fix” the tyres.
                                                                                                                                                        • yetihehe 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                          We can do that already to normal tires and without 3d printing. Such tires are of lower quality though.
                                                                                                                                                          • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                            >Such tires are of lower quality though.

                                                                                                                                                            And you've found the problem. Michilin is trying to compete with Firestone to sell the next set of $1k tires you put on your expensive car. They're (mostly) not competing with Deestone and Linglong to produce the cheapest tire for your beater car. The people buying the former don't buy retreads. But they might if you find a way to re-spin the same fundamental idea as something that isn't low-end. And if you're the first to figure out how to sell that product to those people you can make boatloads of money while everyone else plays catch up.

                                                                                                                                                        • tsjq 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                          >Making things “smart” usually decreases the time span.

                                                                                                                                                          how else to add planned obsolescence to such a durable product?

                                                                                                                                                        • meisel 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                          What impact does this tire have on car mileage?
                                                                                                                                                          • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                            Contact patch and rubber compound being close to constant when compared to a pneumatic tire the mileage impact would primarily depend on weight. I don't think it will be much of an impact since Michilin is unlikely to make a very heavy tire as that would have bad NVH characteristics which don't jive at the high end and reading between the lines of the press release stuff seems to indicate that's where they're targeting.
                                                                                                                                                            • Scoundreller 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                              My guess is bad, and they’re destined for riot-control vehicles or all-terrain vehicles where mileage doesn’t matter as much as other concerns.
                                                                                                                                                              • RegBarclay 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                Adjusting inflation pressure is a feature. I run my tires higher than the vehicle recommendation but still below the sidewall limit for improved fuel economy. Airing down for sand is a thing too.
                                                                                                                                                                • BenjiWiebe 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                  That will likely increase wear and decrease traction. What's happening is that the contact patch is getting narrower and the sides of the tread aren't helping support the weight as much.

                                                                                                                                                                  I worked in a tire shop, and chronic overinflation caused tires to go bald in the center of the tread while the sides had tread left. Have to replace them more often then.

                                                                                                                                                              • ck2 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                Based on the number of nails I find every week in the parking lot around my car, this can't come too soon to the mainstream.

                                                                                                                                                                Just hope it becomes affordable for basic cars by the end of the decade, I'm sure China will make a cheaper knockoff.

                                                                                                                                                                • smbv 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                  • mrpopo 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                    Very cool. Would this also help with particle release from tire wear?
                                                                                                                                                                    • megablast 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                      Have they reduced the plastic coming off and polluting waterways??

                                                                                                                                                                      The number one cause of micro plastics near waterways is from car tyres.

                                                                                                                                                                      • mrfusion 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                        GOOD point by my wife, why don’t we work on puncture resistance instead? Reinforce the tires with Kevlar or carbon fiber?
                                                                                                                                                                        • ashtonkem 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                          Because traditional tires wear down over time even if they aren’t punctured. The goal is to make ones that last longer than that.

                                                                                                                                                                          Also, airless tires are puncture proof by definition.

                                                                                                                                                                          • colejohnson66 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                            Airless tires will still wear out though. That’s the nature of friction with the road. The important one is: how much more durable are these compared to your normal rubber ones?
                                                                                                                                                                            • sailfast 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                              Per the video, their plan is to 3D print additional sustainable tread on demand and/or switch you over to snow tires if you need them using 3D printing techniques while you have a snack (apparently)
                                                                                                                                                                              • ashtonkem 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                They can be re-belted like a semi truck tire, with a sacrificial wear layer on top of an airless support structure. Obviously they will still consume the rubber that wears down, but most of the tire will be reused rather than disposed of.
                                                                                                                                                                            • throwaway0a5e 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                              Handling and NVH tradeoffs. You can reduce tire pressure to combat these but a more substantially built tire will succumb to heat related early failure more easily if you do that. Also money. Tires with more stuff in them and more exotic stuff in them are more expensive because that directly translates to more manufacturing steps.
                                                                                                                                                                              • ben_w 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                My bicycle tires are kevlar (I think) reinforced for puncture resistance. For me it was absolutely worth the cost, given how often I had been getting punctures before that: on a roughly 12-18 minute cycle commute, I went from one every month or so with normal tires to no puncture ever until the tire itself wore out.
                                                                                                                                                                                • masklinn 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                  Kevlar-reinforced tyres exist, they’re used on off-road vehicle. I expect they don’t protect much against the sort of very thin puncture you’d find on a standard road because there’s simply too much pressure being applied when driving a car over a nail/screw.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I don’t think carbon fibre would be of any use here, it’s not super strong against high transversal forces AFAIK. It’d mostly be useful for sidewall rigidity (and I’d be surprised if it didn’t already exist).

                                                                                                                                                                                  • sudosysgen 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                    I have Kevlar reinforced tires on my ebike. It's expensive.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • makapuf 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                    I would like to know if bikes could be equipped with this kind of tires, I tend to never have my tires fully inflated...
                                                                                                                                                                                    • piqufoh 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                      Airless tyres for bikes are quite common (our kids bikes are all airless). Here are some grownups airless tyres! https://tannus.co.uk/tyres
                                                                                                                                                                                      • jack_riminton 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                        There’ve been quite a few already. Most popular in bike sharing schemes, but they’re pretty awful https://link.medium.com/UrBG7Dkrzjb
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Zigurd 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                          You can buy airless inserts for bikes, as well as airless tires. These are not used in higher performance applications. In performance road, gravel, and mountain bikes you find tubeless tires that use sealant instead of airless inserts.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • clircle 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder how the road noise is when driving with a set of these.
                                                                                                                                                                                          • lmilcin 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                            Just don't let it dry out with mud in it!
                                                                                                                                                                                            • qutreM 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                              • runawaybottle 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                Elon Musk on airless tires for Tesla:

                                                                                                                                                                                                https://youtu.be/HojNb3qf-uw

                                                                                                                                                                                                • chapium 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another great way to improve the environment is biking for trips below 5-10 miles. This carbon offset would do laps around car ownership.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • arbitrage 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                    In mountainous locations, that is not an option.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • biftek 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bicycles now have these things called gears which make it possible to ride in the mountains
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • slaw 9 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                        On hills you could use electric bike. I recommend at least 750W motor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • gz5 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                      In 'The Wide Lens' by Ron Adner, he uses Michelin's run-flat tire initiative (PAX) to show how brilliant innovations can fall flat (sorry, couldn't resist) if the entire ecosystem / supply chain is not enabled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the case of PAX, the service stations (75% of the market is replacement) were not ready.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hopefully, Michelin has the full ecosystem enabled in this case, as this seems promising.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • t0mas88 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The sad part for Michelin is that not much later BMW started using run-flat tires on all their cars. So it was really just a value-chain issue, not a lack of demand or bad timing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • the_mitsuhiko 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aren't a lot of tires these days self sealing? Different system but also innovation but without the downsides of PAX.