Elon Musk is not the only one who can dream up new ways to get from here to there. Goodyear has released a video describing a new tire concept — a spherical orb that gathers data and shares it via the internet. Tentatively known as the Goodyear Eagle 360, the tire also enables magnetic levitation, although details on that part of the plan remain sketchy.
The first question that comes to your mind obviously is “How are spherical tires attached to the car?” It’s an excellent question, but one which Goodyear prefers not to answer right now. When it comes to new technology, sometimes we just have to believe. Perhaps the answer will be revealed when Goodyear Eagle 360 version 2.0 becomes available.
What Goodyear envisions is a tire that constantly samples the surface of the road it is driving on and shares that information not only with the car it is mounted on but also other cars in the area. Is there ice in the middle of a turn? If so, it can let the car’s computer know so that traction control and vehicle stability systems can be activated in real time. A car a mile away will also know to slow down when approaching that same corner a few minutes later. Goodyear proposes to use a tire tread design patterned after brain coral. The design allows the tread to stiffen for high performance driving or soften to absorb water when the going gets wet.
According to Mashable, the spherical tires will be provide an advantage to the self-driving cars of the future because they will help them maneuver into and out of confined spaces. Out on the open road, magnetic levitation that would, as Goodyear puts it, “suspend the car resulting in a smooth, quiet ride for the passenger,” will be activated.
Goodyear wisely doesn’t spend much time explaining how any of this new technology works. It just wants us to remember that when the rubber meets the road, Goodyear is thinking far into the future.
Photo Credit: Goodyear