The high performance tyre of the future will be very different to the tyres we drive on today, if the results of a recent design competition are a guide.
A Hankook Tire competition in the US has challenged some of the country’s brightest industrial design students to imagine the role of tyres in automotive design from new angles.
The winning entry by University of Cincinnati student Ben Zavala took the brief somewhat literally, with his Tiltread car tyre rolling into corners at an angle like a motorcycle tyre.
Zavala’s breakthrough idea was to split the tyre into three parallel ring sections, each mounted on a corresponding split section of wheel.
As the wheel turns and leans, the three tyre sections are individually raised or lowered, allowing them all to maintain traction with the road surface.
Tiltread’s wheels are hubless and contain an electric drive motor which varies power to each tyre section, allowing the sections to spin at different rates during cornering.
University of Cincinnati associate professor Ralph Zammit said the competition demonstrated just how great an impact improvement in tyre design could have upon the overall efficiency, ecology and economy of road transportation.