Will Apple Employ Spherical Tires For Autonomous Sideways Driving?

At the Geneva Motor Show, Goodyear unveiled two new tire concepts specifically for autonomous vehicles.

With the rise of the probability of fully autonomous cars in the near future, comes the realization that many other components of the car may have to be adapted. Driverless cars will likely fare much better if the vehicles can easily do everything that the computer needs them to do. Obviously advanced maneuverability and adapting to road conditions are key.

With Apple’s current rumored timeline, it can only benefit from the ability to see all of this exciting concept technology well before companies are putting it on the road. If Apple is successful in its electric autonomous car venture, much of these concepts can be integrated before the first Apple Car is released.

The two concept tires premiered are the Eagle-360 and the Intelligrip.

Eagle-360:

Not only are the 360’s spherical, they also have no axle. In order for the tire to be able to rotate in any direction, they are attached to the car via magnetism. This concept will aid immensely in parking and switching lanes. The tires are made of a more sponge-like material that is able to sense its own wear and adjust pressure and rotation for optimum performance and tread life. Sensors in the tires track the conditions and communicate with other vehicles.

Intelligrip:

Like the 360’s, the Intelligrip also utilize the sensors for the same purposes. However, these tires are not spherical. Although designed with autonomy in mind, this more conventional tire is already becoming a reality for traditional automakers.

Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief officer, Joseph Zekoski says:

“By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road. Goodyear’s concept tires play a dual role in that future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and testbeds for next-generation technologies.”

Check out the video of the Goodyear Eagle-360.

Source (Gizmag)

1 Comment on Will Apple Employ Spherical Tires For Autonomous Sideways Driving?

  1. Very cool. Top 10 questions:

    1) Would it require rare earth magnets in the tire?

    2) Would not a sphere tire have considerably less surface area contacting the road (compared to a conventional tire) resulting in less traction than a conventional tire of the same diamter?

    3) Would this tire consume additional energy because it is having to expend energy to magnetically hold up the vertical weight of the car while also countering considerable lateral forces?

    4) When the car is OFF does the car sit on the tires?

    5) If car has a dead battery how would one tow/flat-bed this car?

    6) Potholes?

    7) A tire with no rims…is that a tire with no soul?

    8) Do the tires fly off if the car takes a fast over-hill jump (think Dukes Of Hazard hill jump)?

    9) Spare tire?

    10) Would this tire fall under the definition of a “wheel”?

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