Goodyear unveils Eagle 360 Urban Tyre
Goodyear has unveiled its Eagle 360 Urban concept tyre that is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), at the Geneva International Motor Show. The company said this unveil is in line with its long-term vision for future smart, connected tyres, through which it aims to revolutionise the interaction between tyres, vehicles and their surroundings. This 3-D printed sphere is the first concept tyre to be powered by Artificial Intelligence and able to sense, decide, transform and interact, Goodyear noted.
Jean-Claude Kihn, President, Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa, said a revolution will take place at the intersection of autonomy, mobility and connectivity. As this unfolds, tyre technology will be even more important than it is at present.”
The Goodyear Eagle 360 Urban is made up of a 3D-printed bionic skin and morphing tread, and will become part of the vehicle’s ‘nervous system’ and the connected world of the IoT. The highly-elastic bionic skin is equipped with a sensor network that allows it to check on its own status and gather information on its environment, including the road surface. Additionally, the concept tyre also captures information on its surroundings in real-time via connectivity with other vehicles, as well as infrastructure, traffic and mobility management systems. The smart tyre is said to combine these sources of information and processing them instantaneously using neural networks trained with deep learning algorithms, and decide the most appropriate course of action. The power of AI helps the Eagle 360 Urban learn from previous actions on how to optimise future responses.
The Eagle 360 Urban concept tyre’s bionic skin has flexibility similar to that of human skin, allowing it to expand and contract. This outer layer covers a foam-like material that is strong enough to remain flexible despite the weight of a vehicle, noted Goodyear. This flexibility allows actuator elements beneath the tyre’s surface to working like human muscles and re-shape the individual sections of the tyre’s tread design. The company said that dimples can be added for wet conditions or smoothening of the tread for dry conditions are possible with these actuators.
Goodyear also said that when the tyre’s bionic skin is damaged, the sensors in the tread can locate the puncture, and the tyre can then rotate to create a different contact patch. This reduces pressure on the puncture and allows the self-healing process to start, as a result of materials that are specifically designed to be able to flow towards the puncture, it explained. They react physically and chemically with each other to form new molecular bonds, closing the puncture.