Most drivers know that they should be checking their tires on a regular basis, as an under-inflated tire can lead to flats and hurts fuel economy. However, drivers often fall behind on this easy piece of maintenance due to forgetfulness, laziness or both.
Goodyear has stepped in and is developing technology that will soon make things even easier for drivers. The idea is called Air Maintenance Technology (AMT), and it essentially allows a tire to maintain its air pressure without the use of external pumps. The technology is all contained within the tire, according to the company.
"While the technology is complex, the idea behind the AMT system is relatively simple and powered by the tire itself as it rolls down the road," said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer. "A tire that can maintain its own inflation is something drivers have wanted for many years. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging."
Goodyear has already received grants from both American and European governments for versions of the technology that would be used on commercial truck tires. However, the company is also developing the advancement for use in consumer products as well.