The days of the tire filled with air might be numbered. Michelin is testing a prototype that would have cars drive on puncture proof tires. Michelin’s new Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System (Uptis) does away with one of the defining aspects of tires as we’ve known them for more than 100 years: the air inside. Unlike past attempts at airless tires, Uptis functions the way other modern tires do and, Michelin claims, will provide a similar driving experience.
Unveiled at the company’s sustainable-mobility-focused Movin’On Summit in Montreal, Uptis is a tire without a traditional sidewall that carries its load by the top thanks to a new resin-embedded fiberglass material that Michelin was granted over 50 patents for. The Uptis concept tires have a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour and a max load of 1102 pounds. Different versions with different specs and driving characteristics will be possible.
Theoretically, the tread life for the Uptis is the same as a standard tire, but in the real world it will be longer because drivers who use it will not be driving around on improperly inflated tires. See how it works below!