Developing a nearly 'maintenance-free' truck tire

goodyear-tires.jpgSay goodbye to underinflated tires robbing fuel economy. That day could be coming soon if a new technology that Goodyear is testing pays off.

Goodyear is developing a technology called Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) that not only monitors the inflation pressure inside a tire, but also inflates the tire when needed. All without the external pumps and electronics that are needed by today’s automatic tire inflation systems.

“While the technology is complex, the idea behind the AMT system is relatively simple and powered by the tire itself as it rolls down the road,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer. “A tire that can maintain its own inflation is something drivers have wanted for many years. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging. This will become the kind of technological breakthrough that people will wonder how they ever lived without.”

Properly inflated tires improve fuel efficiency as much as 3.5%, reduce wear and tear, and in the era of CSA, reduce potential violations.

According to Goodyear, the AMT puts all the components necessary to monitor and inflate the tire inside the tire itself, including a miniaturized pump. The company has been working on the technology for a while now, but a $1.5 million grant for research, development, and demonstration of the technology in commercial truck tires will help Goodyear speed up the process, it said.

The grant will be administered by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and work will be conducted at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Akron, OH. Goodyear is already moving ahead with testing of the technology in consumer tires in Luxembourg.

“While similar in concept, there are significant differences in AMT systems for consumer and commercial tires,” said Kihn. “The tangible support from both the U.S. and Luxembourg governments underscores the value of these projects and the many positive benefits they can provide drivers around the world."

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