The four black rubber donuts are arguably the most important part of your car – they provide the necessary link between your vehicle and the road surface – yet their overall design hasn’t change since 1887.
Back then, Scottish veterinarian John Boyd had the idea of inflating the rubber tire for his son’s bicycle. Since then, even as massive improvements have hit the tires – one thing remained constant in their design: the existence of air inside.
Now, Bridgestone has decided to change that and showcased their Air Free tires during the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The prototype is already in its second-generation and has… no air inside. The tire remains inflated without maintaining air tightness by the way of using numerous thin rubber bands – albeit very solid ones – that get reinforced by flexible resin spokes.
What’s more important is that Bridgestone’s Air Free tires were not developed as a temporary relief – such as Run Flat tires, for example – but to completely change life for cars, trucks, bicycles, and the myriad of products that use tires.
The Bridgestone design was first showcased back in 2011 and has the primary goal of providing increased safety – it would completely eliminate the dangerous flats and less-frequent blowouts. And for the first time, they’re also completely recyclable.