How does it work?
The Michelin Uptis is the puncture proof, airless tyre that is poised to revolutionise motoring from 2024. It might, therefore, signal the beginning of the end for traditional, air-filled tyres on new cars, vans, and other types of vehicle. So how does it work?
First, consider a traditional tyre. Key to its operation is the airtight seal with its metal wheel. Furthermore, it has solid sidewalls that flex to absorb bumps in the road. Finally, tread removes water from the tyre’s path to help it stick to the surface.
The tyre is a stark contrast to its traditional counterpart. It still sits on a separate wheel but there is no airtight seal. Rather, therefore, than have solid sidewalls it has ribs you can see through. The ribs flex to absorb bumps in the road. The tread pattern that clears water has a more familiar look.
Consider the advantages. With a traditional tyre, it is important to regularly check the pressure is correct. Any shortcomings compromise how the car brakes, handles, and rides which can be dangerous. Clearly, there are no such issues with the airless tyre.
Punctures are also a thing of the past. There is a video that shows its tyre wafting over a couple of large nails without complaint. There is no chance of a blowout either. How can there be? A blowout occurs when air within the tyre escapes at high speed. This is possible if the tyre has a serious, structural flaw.
These benefits help you to feel safer on the road. In addition, your car spends less time in the garage having its punctures repaired. That saves you time, inconvenience, and of course money. These factors particularly help businesses that operate large fleets of vehicles. Their productivity might improve.
Michelin also suggested its airless tyre is good for the environment. Worldwide, 200 million tyres are scrapped every year due to punctures or irregular wear caused by incorrect pressure. That is the equivalent weight of 200 Eiffel Towers. The Uptis cannot be punctured, overinflated, or underinflated. Further:
- you are ‘not likely’ to notice any difference on the road between its airless tyre and a standard counterpart
- the tyre is currently being tested on the Chevrolet Bolt EV
Summary: ‘The Uptis features ground breaking improvements in architecture and composite materials which enable it to bear the car’s weight at road going speeds. These innovations combine to eliminate compressed air to support the vehicle’s load.’