News & Car Culture

Michelin’s UPTIS Airless Tires Get Tested on the Real World Streets of Munich, Germany

(Image/Michelin)

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.

The Michelin UPTIS Prototype was tested earlier on a Chevrolet Bolt EV. (Image/Steve Fecht for General Motors)

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:

(Image/Michelin)

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:

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