Goodyear's concept tires highlight how everything is getting smarter

One of Goodyear's concept tires revolves around charging electric vehicles on the fly. Another one would sense road conditions and adjust inflation on the fly.

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona all the chatter revolves around smart watches, phones and other devices that are supposed to inspire gadget lust. About 623 kilometers away in Geneva, Goodyear is outlining its concept smart tires.

Simply put, everything is getting smarter by the minute and dueling conferences---Mobile World Congress and the Geneva Auto Show---highlight the trend.

As for Goodyear, its two concept tires aim to make tires a more integral part of the auto system. The first concept, called BHO3, is designed to charge the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated from a rolling tire into electric. Heat is generated as a tire rolls and materials would be embedded to generate electricity.

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The BHO3 includes:

  • Ultra black texture to absorb heat and light;
  • Thermo-piezoelectric material;
  • A cooling system for the structure on the outer wall of the tire;
  • And a system where sunlight would heat the tire when parked.

Goodyear's BHO3 would go a long way toward curing range anxiety with electric cars, which don't have the infrastructure yet for quick fill-ups.

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Goodyear's second concept is called Triple Tube. The name is largely self-explanatory and includes three tubes that rest under the tread and near both shoulders of the tire and center. An internal pump would automatically adjust air in the tubes based on road conditions.

An eco setting would inflate all tubes to the max to cut rolling resistance. A sport position could cut inflation on the inboard tube for better handling and a wet setting would inflate the center tube to prevent aquaplaning.

Like most concepts, it's unclear when or if Goodyear's tires will hit the market. But the big takeaway is that tires will include a bevy of sensors, relay data and become even more critical to auto systems.

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