Goodyear Creates the “Almost Perfect” Self-Driving Tire
Imagine a car where your tires not only can roll either front or back, but rotate in ALL directions. Exceptionally maneuverable, it allows you to go through tight and narrow parking spaces without breaking up a sweat.
What's more, the tire's tread is patterned after the structure of brain coral that acts like a natural sponge. This helps the tire to harden during dry conditions. And when wet, it softens a bit to lessen traction loss and improve your car’s total handling.
This is what Goodyear has created when they showed off their “Eagle-360” spherical tires for self-driving vehicles.
The tire, which actually looks like a giant black basketball, can be effective for autonomous cars that mainly use computers to analyze, detect, and effectively improve your driving experience on the road.
These tires have embedded sensors that help them analyze the environment, and “talk” with other cars and even the local traffic system. What's more, they can also monitor tire pressure and treads, and rotate to areas that have significantly less wear and tear.
Car and Driver adds: “A wide central sipe could spin perpendicular to the direction of travel when roads are dry and parallel to the road when it rains, providing a channel to evacuate standing water from under the tire. Sensors built into the tire would detect road conditions and available friction, relaying that information to the car’s computers so it knows when it’s necessary to travel below the speed limit.”
Interestingly, the Eagle-360 is attached to the car not through axles, but via magnetic levitation, instead.
However, one tiny drawback when using magnets on these tires is the added weight on the vehicle.
“Designers openly admit that the necessary permanent magnets would add thousands of pounds to the vehicle’s weight as the tech exists today,” said Car and Driver.
Despite the flaw, it’s still a promising concept that’s worth taking a second look. You can learn more about the Goodyear Eagle-360 tire below: