While several companies are still talking about creating “green” products, Goodyear introduces the concept version of a tire, called Oxygene. The concept tire debuted at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. It features a unique open structure in which a heat-resistant moss is encouraged to grow inside the sidewall thanks to the smart tread design, which absorbs and circulates moisture it picks up from the road, all managed by an AI system. It also inhales carbon dioxide from the air to feed the moss.
The Oxygene concept features a lightweight, non-pneumatic construction using 3D-printed rubber powder sourced from recycled tires. Michelin has similarly 3D-printed tire concepts. Last year the company unveiled its airless Vision concept tire that recharges its treads via 3D printing technology to adjust to seasonal road conditions, and features a tread inspired by nature that is similarly made from sustainable materials. Like that one, the Oxygene is airless and puncture-free, with a shock-absorbing open tread structure that improves grip in wet conditions.
Goodyear claims the Oxygene can also communicate with tires on other vehicles and with infrastructure through speed-of-light LiFi technology, and illumination will help it signal when the vehicle is turning or brakes are being applied. It's far-out but inventive thinking from the legacy tire maker. Previous tire concepts from Goodyear have included the spherical Eagle-360 and the BH03, a much more ordinary-looking tire that can produce electricity using the heat generated by rolling over a road surface.