Bridgestone was at the Tokyo Motor Show last week, where it demonstrated the airless tyre we wrote about recently.
The ‘tyre’ uses interlacing plastic spokes for its internal structure that eliminates the need for pressurised air. So, not only does the tyre never need inflating, but it’s also completely immune to punctures.
The tyre can flex and twist like the traditional rubber technology currently in use, but doesn’t suffer from horizontal distortion when under sideways pressure, such as when a car is cornering.
Bridgestone demoed the tyres on a golf cart that placed a load of 50kg on each wheel, but the engineer on-hand reckoned that these prototypes could easily cope with three times that weight.
Here’s a video showing Bridgestone’s airless tyres in action, followed by similar technology being developed by Michelin in 2006: