Goodyear Rolls Out Moss Tire That Helps Clean Air

Last year’s greatest catalog expansion was not that of your favorite shoes or sunglasses, but wheels. Yes, commercial car tires got the ultimate makeover in 2017, introducing anti-flat and airless masterpieces. But manufacturers haven’t run out of ideas yet, with Goodyear rolling out one of its most genius products yet. The rubber company is engineering a moss-covered tire that absorbs moisture and expels oxygen.

Goodyear says if a Paris-sized city, with around 2.5 million vehicles, used Oxygene tires then it would eliminate 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year while also producing more than 3,000 tons of oxygen.

With 80% of people residing in areas with dangerously high pollution levels, the roads could use a breather. The Oxygene is 3D-printed, shock-absorbent, and immune to perforations. Michelin might have to step its game up.

The tire also “harvests the energy generated during photosynthesis” to power an assortment of onboard sensors and electronics including a sidewall light strip and an artificial intelligence processing unit. The tire also has V2V and V2X technology which allows it to warn other vehicles about lane changes and other maneuvers.

Yep — if my wheels could keep me on time, wash my laundry remotely, and call my sister, I’d throw em on the shopping list.

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Self-Healing Rubber Could Solve Flat Tire Disasters

Michelin may be developing an airless tire, but in the meantime, flats are a real issue. Changing a tire, especially in areas such as highways, can be a pain. Harvard scientists have created a type of self-healing rubber that could change the way we deal with minor road accidents.

In order to make a rubber self-healable, the team needed to make the bonds connecting the polymers reversible, so that the bonds could break and reform.

Typical rubber cracks under pressure. Cracks in hybrid rubber are connected by fibrous strand, snapping back when stress is released.

“Imagine that we could use this material as one of the components to make a rubber tire,” [creator] Wu said. “If you have a cut through the tire, this tire wouldn’t have to be replaced right away. Instead, it would self-heal while driving enough to give you leeway to avoid dramatic damage.”

Of course, with every new technology, there is always more to explore. We’re not sure whether Michelin or Harvard will pull through first, but both are definitely off to a great start.

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