Well, we have just discovered a story recently that one of Germany’s tyre companies is talking about a tyre that takes care of itself.
It may seem a bit far-fetched however, the reality of a self-inflating tyre is becoming more evident thanks to some new concepts from Continental.
The German automotive tyre manufacturer has displayed its new Conti C.A.R.E. (Connected. Autonomous. Reliable. Electrified) technology systems at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, that is set to become the bridge between tyres and all vehicle types including the autonomous and electric cars of the future.
Conti C.A.R.E. tyres are fitted with sensors that are ingrained into the tyre's tread during construction, which can then generate and report on any data relating to tread depth, tyre damage, tyre temperatures and the changing tyre pressure.
This monitoring system called ContiSense would send this data to a web-based ContiConnect Live application, which can be used to monitor tyre life across a company vehicle fleet in real time or can be enabled to send an alert to a car owner's phone that a tyre is damaged or not operating correctly.
Most interesting though, is the idea that this new technology can be used to help a car to self-inflate its own tyres, through an ingenious wheel-tyre system that uses self-generated air to maintain the correct tyre pressure.
When a vehicle accelerates, the centrifugal forces within the wheel act on pumps which then generate compressed air which is stored in an on-board canister ready to bring the tyre to the right level.
Tyre pressures would be continuously monitored and adjusted within the ideal pressure range based on prevailing conditions, any excess air stored for later use.
The technology can also use the stored air to adapt the tyre pressures to different driving scenarios such as, reducing pressures in metal or sandy surfaces or compensating for greater pressure caused by high-speed or hot-weather running. Not sure how much one of these tyres would cost but our guess would be a fair bit.