Perspective Trends

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Perspective Trends

The tire industry’s development and production have experienced several significant challenges recently.

Tire trends follow diverse requirements. The main focus has been on safety. In addition, great attention is paid to more ecological production, the use of alternative construction materials, and the production of optimal tires for electric cars. Therefore, this industry is constantly facing new challenges to bring ingenious solutions.

Perspective Trends
1 – Michelin Uptis tires are currently being tested on light commercial vehicles.

A Story to Tell

Perhaps the most revolutionary development is the AIRLESS technology (Michelin airless tires)  that features connectivity, renewable or recycled materials, and replaceable treadwear. Michelin is working on three applications, namely LUNAR WHEEL (tires developed for the Moon RACER lunar vehicle), TWEEL (tires for loaders, handling equipment, and off-road utility vehicles, which have been used since 2012), and UPTIS (tires for light vans that are the only products designed for the open road). The Singaporean DHL and the French La Poste vans are currently being tested. The tests will end at the end of 2025. The main advantages of Michelin X Tweel airless tires (the name from the words Tire and Wheel) include puncture resistance (no air leakage), easy operation and maintenance (the wheel is mounted and no pressure needs to be measured), relaxed and comfortable driving and environmentally friendly operation (they show a longer mileage and do not need to be replaced/repaired when punctured).

Perspective Trends
2 – Uptis technology is also expected to be used on passenger cars.

Smart Tires

The Continental experts’ forecasts reveal a big arrival of intelligent tires. As cars evolve, so do the products that allow them to move on the road. Modern sensors monitor tire pressure and make it easier to maintain them. However, the sensors should indicate not only information about insufficient pressure but also the possibility of damage, insufficient tread depth, or temperature changes that can endanger safe driving. The long-haul flight can also be the automatic adjustment of tire pressure, depending on the driving situation, road surface conditions, and weather, making them comfortable, safer, and more energy efficient. These were the ideas of Continental specialists in a nutshell.

Perspective Trends
The future should belong to the smart tires.
Perspective Trends
Multiple tire parameters will guard relevant sensors.

Back to the Present

Tire manufacturers strive to develop the best products regarding safety and ecology. The ADAC suggests a 70% safety and 30% ecology ratio in summer tire tests. The four (Continental Premium Contact 7, Michelin Primacy 4+, and Kumho Ecsta HS52) of sixteen 215/55 R17 products for small SUVs and lower middle class were rated well-balanced. The rest received a satisfactory and sufficient grade. No tire was poor or inadequate. The tests can be used as a guide when choosing tires. Still, according to experts, the final decision should be made based on the driving conditions and the personal requirements of the vehicle owner.

Perspective Trends
ADAC 2024 test winner – Continental Premium Contact 7 tire

Text: Peter Stano, photos: Goodyear, Continental, Michelin