Watch: Mini Cooper SE rides on airless tyres
A study has revealed that around 20% of the tyres produced globally every year are discarded due to different issues. These include flats, rapid pressure loss or irregular wear and tear caused by poor tyre pressure. This means around 200 million tyres are wasted every year as they don't finish their intended purpose.
Such a huge volume of discarded tyres means a massive waste in terms of different resources. These include cost, energy, manpower, raw materials etc. that are used for making the tyres.
The global tyre industry has been researching and developing new technologies aiming at sustainability. The airless tyre is one such technology that will allow vehicle owners to run their vehicles without air in tyres. Also, an airless tyre increases a vehicle's go-to anywhere capability significantly. They come with a longer lifespan compared to conventional tyres.
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Another major benefit of such a tyre is it can reduce the wastage of tyres and resources as well.
French tyre manufacturer Michelin has come up with such an airless tyre called Uptis. Officially unveiled in 2019, the tyre has been under the R&D phase for more than a decade. Now, the tyre seems to be ready for commercial launch.
Recently, a youtube video has been posted showing a Mini Cooper SE riding on the Michelin Uptis airless tyre. Made of belts and spokes, this airless tyre gets several thin and strong fibreglass to carry the weight of the vehicle. Michelin has reportedly filed 50 patents to protect this invention.
The video reveals that the tyre manufacturer company is aiming to launch this airless tyre sometime in 2024. This is certainly not the first attempt to make an airless tyre, but it would be the first-ever commercial offering of this kind.