Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Goodyear is working on spherical tires

At last week's Geneva International Motor Show, Goodyear announced the introduction of their Eagle-360 tires. These new tires would work together with self-driving vehicles to make driving smoother and safer for passengers. Using innovative technology and an expert system, Goodyear is promising to deliver tires that would allow cars to essentially float above the road.

The first point I would like to discuss is how exactly Goodyear plans to use innovative technology in these tires. Instead of attaching the tires to the vehicle using axles, the tires would connect using magnetic levitation. Goodyear would use an expert system and put electronic sensors inside the tires that could communicate with the vehicle’s traction control system. These sensors would cause the tires to stiffen in dry conditions and soften in wet conditions.

I would also like to discuss the implications that these tires would have on business. Eagle-360 tires are meant to work with self-driving vehicles. With the introduction of the Eagle-360 tires comes an increase in the investment of new car technology for automakers. Businesses can also cut costs of hiring drivers to transport equipment, because of the domain specific expertise that is in self driving cars and Eagle-360 tires. Businesses would also be able to cut the costs of purchasing new tires and car equipment, because these tires extend tire life and decrease the risk of accidents.

Lastly, I would like to point out the benefits that this new technology would have for society and the individual. The Eagle-360 tires are equipped with the ability to intelligently self rotate, which would decrease treading and extend tire life. This would decrease long term costs of purchasing new tires, which can save money for individual drivers. The use of magnetic levitation allows for the smoothest ride possible for passengers and also protects the suspension from potholes or other obstacles in the road. Eagle-360 tires would work to lessen the chance of car accidents and motor vehicle related deaths worldwide. This technology could also prevent the effects of drunk driving and texting while driving related incidents.

While it is not addressed in the article, it is important to note that extensive testing will need to be conducted before these tires are ever available to the public. The release date for these tires is very far off into the future, which leaves time for competitors to develop similar ideas or for flaws in the Eagle-360 tire design to be discovered. Also, many consumers will be wary that the magnetism between the tires and the vehicle will not be strong enough to withstand fast speeds or possible collisions. When these tires are released, it is possible that there will be many drivers who will not trust the new technology of magnetic levitation while driving. Lastly, there is no discussion of price in this article, but it can be assumed that the Eagle-360 tires will be very expensive and very few individuals will even be able to afford to purchase them.

Works Cited:
 GoodyearTyresUK. "The Goodyear Eagle-360 Concept Tire." YouTube. YouTube, 29 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.

The Tire Maker Has Revealed a New Concept: Spherical Rubber Tires That Can Move in Any Direction. For a Self-driving Car without a Steering Wheel. "Goodyear Is Working on Spherical Tires." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. 

1 comment:

  1. I think the Goodyear Eagle 360 concept tire will have great affects on automobile safety if they can be implemented on a large scale. I think self driving cars equipped with the tires would make the road a more safe place as they another line of defense from equipment failing. I'm on the skeptical side of driverless cars, although I think they can be great for certain things, I also worry they will end up failing and causing more harm that they were created to prevent. However, I think if Goodyear were to take aspects of the Eagle-360 tire such as adapting tread in different climates, providing extra grip when it's wet and so forth would be a great technology that could be made affordable and be used more widespread than the concept tire. Similar to how Anti-Lock Braking systems are standard on cars today, Goodyear could spearhead efforts to create tires that work with the rest of the car to automatically slow down the vehicle in adverse conditions; similar to how sensors stop cars from colliding into obstacles in front of them or switching lanes unintentionally. Like you mentioned, the price issue is going to be why a lot of people would stay with more traditional, less safe tires. Also people without the advanced magnet technology wouldn't be able to use them in their car, so I think in the meantime before driverless cars are more abundant, Goodyear would benefit from taking certain features of the Eagle-360 tire and applying them to a more affordable model.


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