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Friday, August 12, 2011

Goodyear's AMT Project

Goodyear is working on an R&D project to design and demonstrate truck tires which maintain their own pressure with some sort of internal pump and valve system.

Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) will enable tires to remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps or electronics.  All components of the AMT system, including the miniaturized pump, will be fully contained within the tire.

This is an interesting idea, and not totally new, a company called CODA in the Czech Republic has been promoting a design recently which self inflates.

However, the problem with this concept is that it scavenges energy from the tire rotation to pump the air--which will increase rolling resistance.  There is huge pressure on tire makers to reduce rolling resistance as part of fuel economy improvements.  Unless the government somehow gives credit for the technology to reduce the up-front efficiency hit, I don't see automakers being enthusiastic in replacing their old fashioned tires.  That's because fuel economy tests are performed in a lab, and tires are always properly inflated.

Goodyear press release here.

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