Conceptually Cool Rubber

While people attending the 85th Geneva Motor Show are, for obvious reasons, distracted by things like the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman and the McLaren P1 GTR, from a design and engineering perspective there were two other introductions—of concepts—at the show that are conceptually more startling than even the Lexus LF-SA: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company showed two tires, the BHO3 and the Triple Tube.

While people attending the 85th Geneva Motor Show are, for obvious reasons, distracted by things like the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman and the McLaren P1 GTR, from a design and engineering perspective there were two other introductions—of concepts—at the show that are conceptually more startling than even the Lexus LF-SA:

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company showed two tires, the BHO3 and the Triple Tube.

As Joe Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer, put it: “These concept tires reimagine the role that tires may play in the future.”

And of that future, he said, “We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile.”

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The BHO3 takes advantage of the heat generated during driving. The materials in the tire will transform the heat into electricity, and the electricity can then be shunted to the on-board battery—that is, battery in the context of an electric vehicle.

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The Triple Tube has, well, three tubes within the tire. One is beneath the center of the tread. One near the inboard shoulder and the other the outboard shoulder. There is an internal pump that moves air from the main air chamber (i.e., the tire, in effect) to the tubes predicated on conditions or driver selection.

That is: With maximum inflation in all tubes, there is reduced rolling resistance, for more eco-driving.

With the inboard tube slightly deflated, there is better handling for sporty carving of corners because the contact patch is optimized.

And with the center tube at maximum pressure, the tread in the center of the tire is raised so there is superior aquaplaning resistance during wet driving.