Goodyear Just Invented A Tire That Inflates Itself Automatically

The self-inflating tire. Air enters through a valve and is pushed through the red tube.

Photo: Alex Davies

At the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards last week, Goodyear took home an honour for its recently revealed Air Maintenance Technology application: the self-inflating tire.Under inflation reduces fuel economy and limits the life of the tire.

When a built-in sensor registers the tire is under inflated, a small valve opens that allows air into a tube that runs around the inside of the tire.

As the tire rolls, air is pushed through the tube, like forcing a drop of water through a straw with one’s fingers. The idea is based on peristalsis, the movement of muscles that in humans allows food to be swallowed and pushed through the digestive tract.

Once optimal air pressure is reached, the valve shuts.

It is a simple, smart technology that will save drivers a lot of money, help reduce fuel use, and limit the number of ripped up tires on the side of the road.

The Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards recognise innovations that advance the fields of medicine, automotive design, environmental engineering, space exploration, technology, and more.

Goodyear is developing the tire for commercial and consumer vehicles with a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Energy.

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