Image: Motor1

Michelin visionary concept is an airless tire which was unveiled by the Michelin at Movin’On exhibition in Montreal. It’s a 3D printed tire that is said to last long and it might never need replacement.

Michelin wants to revolutionize the tire and the wheel too – via the Vision concept. This basically is a one piece combination of wheel and tire. It is airless, connected, rechargeable, customizable and organic, according to Michelin.

The approach of the company is to a build tire with sustainable and biodegradable material which​ includes wood, bamboo, natural rubber, paper, tin cans, plastic and electronic waste, hay, metal, cloth, orange zest, cardboard and molasses. To avoid leaving a negative impact on the environment, It will be fully recyclable. This approach has been named ‘4R Strategy’ at Michelin as it reduces, reuses, recycles and renews the resources. The motive of the company is to be safer and environmentally-friendly.

The design of the tire is unique. Its lattice, honeycomb like structure gives it ultra-durability which is inspired by nature. The Vision concept is airless so the tire will never go flat or blowout. Less rubber is used in tread than the traditional tires. The tread is made with 3D printer and can be replenished​ when needed. The inside of the tire is solid and the outside is said to be more flexible towards the rim. It’s customizable which means you can change the tread depending upon the climate, road type, destination and driving style. If you are driving to off-road or in rain you can stop and print the tread according to your need within a short period of time. It’ll load the amount of rubber which would be suitable for the situation.

“You might be thinking, ‘well, that’s a dream,’ And you’d be right. It is a dream. It’s a long-term concept which brings together our vision of all the elements of sustainable mobility. It’s a realistic dream, though”. says Terry Gettys, Michelin’s head of global innovation.

Image: Materials World

The Michelin’s Vision concept tire is also equipped with sensors which would monitor the condition of the tire and the tread and if it would be worn out it will notify you to print the tread via an app without you even leaving your home or getting out of the car while driving. This will also give you real-time information and will allow you to choose the type of tread or you can choose from the suggestions made by the program which observes your requirement. This technology helps you to communicate with your vehicle.

The Company believes that the mobility is essential for the development, they work passionately to make more efficient and environmentally friendly. They are well-known​ for not compromising on quality and serving their customers better.

This Vision Concept is currently a prototype and will at least take a decade to launch into production. For now we will have to deal with our inefficient, pressurized, traditional rubber tires.

It is not the first time that Michelin has come up with a concept. In 1975, they introduced ‘Tweel’ which was also designed to avoid blowouts. This never made up to the production line except for being used in front end loaders and for fork lifts. There were some other great ideas that never led to something​ big.

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