The possibility of spherical, omnidirectional tires has been explored many times in the past – a recent example is the 2004 “I, Robot” movie with the Audi RSQ Concept – and such a technology poses many challenges on different levels: technology, costs, performances, efficiency and last but not least, styling.
With their Eagle-360 concept tire Goodyear has targeted autonomous vehicles and aimed at achieving high levels of maneuverability, connectivity and biomimicry.
The tires are connected via magnetic levitation and feature a 3D printed tread inspired by nature that mimics the pattern of brain coral and behaves like a natural sponge €“ stiffening in dry conditions and softening when wet.
Along with the Eagle 360, at the Geneva Show the tire manufacturer has also presented the IntelliGrip, a concept tire designed to communicate with autonomous vehicle control systems, sensing road surface and weather conditions.
Featuring the so-called treadwear technology, Intelligrip is defined as a solution for the earlier adoption of self-driving vehicles.
Below we report the list of features from Goodyear’s press release.
From the official Press Release:
The Goodyear Eagle-360 is a spherical-shaped design concept tire that would provide self-driving cars ultimate maneuverability, connectivity and biomimicry to increase safety.
- Maneuverability: The multi-orientation of the spherical-shaped tire allows the car to move in all directions, contributing to safety for passengers, as well as coping with space limitations such as tight parking lots or city streets.
- Connectivity: Embedded sensors further increase safety by communicating road and weather conditions to the vehicle control system and other nearby cars, while tread and tire pressure monitoring technology regulate even wear of the 360-degree tire to extend mileage.
- Connected via magnetic levitation: The tires would rely on a magnetic levitation system to suspend the car resulting in a smooth, quiet ride for the passenger.
- Biomimicry: Inspired by nature, the 3D printed tread mimics the pattern of brain coral and behaves like a natural sponge €“ designed to stiffen in dry conditions and soften when wet to deliver excellent driving performance and aquaplaning resistance.
- Senses road conditions: Thanks to its advanced sensor technology and specially designed tread, the concept tire can sense many road conditions, including both surface and weather conditions.
- Active-wear technology: The IntelliGrip also uses advanced active wear technology to assess the condition of the tire and the vehicle.
- Custom algorithms: Goodyear-developed algorithms account for variables such as inflation pressure and tire temperature.
- Adapting to road conditions: When the tire senses a rainy or slippery road surface, the autonomous vehicle will adapt its speed. Additionally, the tire can shorten the stopping distance, provide a better cornering response, optimize stability and even support collision prevention systems.
- Technology adaption: Goodyear is working with a number of vehicle manufacturers to further adapt this technology to their needs, enhancing connectivity with features such as Electronic Stability Control Systems, Brake Control Systems and Suspension Control Systems.