While the tyre technology has come a long way over the last 100 odd years, the basic shape has been retained almost as it is. However, the Goodyear Eagle-360 spherical tyre is aiming to effect a change in paradigm.
Designed with futuristic fully autonomous vehicles in mind, the Eagle-360 incorporates several ground-breaking functions that could be featured in a sci-fi movie. The first advantage of the spherical construction is improved manoeuvrability in tight spaces. The tyre maker also says that enhanced safety comes as an inherent character.
It’s not just a rubber ball with a unique construction. The Eagle-360 is an autonomous machine in itself! It comes loaded with various sensors which not only provide vital inputs to the autonomous vehicles but can also adapt to the terrain and has its own wear management program. The spherical tyre becomes rigid while running over the dry surface but gets softer on wet surfaces to enhance grip.
That’s not all, the Goodyear Eagle-360 promises to be a great platform for automotive engineers to come up with creative technologies that are not heard of yet. For example, the new tyre tech makes magnetic levitation suspension for road going cars possible. Imagine the resultant smooth and noise-free ride quality!
Goodyear also showcased its IntelliGrip tyre which is midway between the conventional tyres and the Eagle-360. The IntelliGrip has embedded sensors which pass on real-time information on terrain, grip levels, etc., to the self-driving car’s control module.
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