Concept tire generates electricity, cleans air

March 07, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The Geneva Motor Show has many facets, and one of them is being a stage for concepts that anticipate nothing less than the rather distant future. The concept tire Oxygene from Goodyear falls under this category: It generates electricity, communicates over multiple channels and never loses its air.

As a contributing measure to increase air quality in urban areas, real moss is growing on the sidewall of the tire. More interesting for the electronics experts among us is the fact, that the tire designers generates electricity: It stores the surplus energy from the photosynthesis process associated with the moss.

The electricity can be used to power the embedded electronic circuits. Examples are sensors, an AI unit and a variable light emitted from the sidewall. The latter’s function is announcing imminent driving manoeuvers to other traffic participants such as breaking or lane changing. Plus, the tire is equipped with a LiFi communication system that establishes broadband communications with other traffic participants and the road infrastructure – more or less what is known today as V2X communications. Applications? Will certainly be designed in the future, a company spokesperson said.

The tire, by the way will never become flat. Based on a non-pneumatic design concept, it won’t even contain air a supporting or damping element, making the tire failsafe and durable. It consists of processed rubber flour from recycled old tires. Did I forget something? Yes: It is made in a 3D printing process.