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Bridgestone Airless Tires Promise Never to Go Flat

by Shane McGlaun
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Bridgestone has been in the tire making business for a long time. The company already makes run-flat tires that can go for a short time with no air inside, but mostly it makes normal tires that use air inside to operate. The company is showing off a new concept tire at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show that doesn’t need to be filled with air.

120211_the_airless_tire_1

Inside the new tire is a mesh-like network of thermoplastic resin spokes that keep the rubber treads on top rigid enough to keep from collapsing under the weight and speed of a vehicle. The concept tires are very small at only a 9-inch diameters so, Bridgestone is only testing the tires on a small one-seat car that elderly people in Japan favor.

120211_the_airless_tire_2

There will be work put into seeing if the tires can be scaled up to work with normal cars. I wonder how comfortable these tires are, as the air inside rubber tire cushions the ride on a rough surface, and it’s hard to tell how much give these tires would have. The upside is even if the tires are rougher is that you will never need to patch a flat again.

[via CNET]

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