Michelin introduced to the world to its potentially game-changing UPTIS airless tire over two years ago. Made from glass fiber reinforced plastic, the UPTIS (short for “Unique Puncture-proof Tire System”) prototype was a single wheel-and-tire assembly designed to support a vehicle, while also delivering a safe, comfortable ride.
…Without the need to be filled with air.
Removing air from the equation means that flat or underinflated tires could be a thing of the past. While you can probably recognize the obvious safety benefits here, Michelin says there are plenty of other upsides too. Airless tire tech could go a long way towards eliminating tire waste caused by punctures or irregular tire wear. Check out the infographic below to see what Michelin’s talking about:
But we hadn’t really seen much in the way of real people giving real-world driving impressions—up until now, that is.
In a recent video, Michelin let some automotive vloggers take an UPTIS-equipped e-Mini around the streets of Munich, Germany to see how its airless tires perform in the wild. Suffice it to say, the feedback was positive.
Michelin says that, thanks to a partnership with General Motors, we should start seeing airless tire technology move mainstream by 2024. In the meantime, you can see it in action in the video below: