Automotive

Goodyear flies into Geneva with Aero tiltrotor tire concept

Goodyear flies into Geneva wit...
The non-pneumatic Aero tire features shock-absorbing spokes that double as rotor blades
The non-pneumatic Aero tire features shock-absorbing spokes that double as rotor blades
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The Aero tire would utilize a zero-friction magnetic propulsion system
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The Aero tire would utilize a zero-friction magnetic propulsion system
The non-pneumatic Aero tire features shock-absorbing spokes that double as rotor blades
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The non-pneumatic Aero tire features shock-absorbing spokes that double as rotor blades
The Aero tire would  incorporate fiber optic sensors to monitor road conditions, tread wear and overall structural integrity
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The Aero tire would  incorporate fiber optic sensors to monitor road conditions, tread wear and overall structural integrity
Data from its sensors, and from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems, would be analyzed by the Aero tire's onboard artificial intelligence processor
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Data from its sensors, and from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems, would be analyzed by the Aero tire's onboard artificial intelligence processor
Another view of the Aero tire's spokes/rotor blades
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Another view of the Aero tire's spokes/rotor blades

If they really are to be considered "cars," flying cars will require at least two things: tires for driving on the road, and propellers for flying through the air. Goodyear has combined the two into one unit – or actually into four units – with its Aero concept.

Currently on display in physical prototype form at the Geneva Motor Show, the Aero has a wrap-around rubber tread for traction, but it lacks a pneumatic air chamber. Instead, its integrated spokes flex to absorb shocks, while still being strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle.

The idea is that as long as the car is moving along the road, all four Aeros remain perpendicular to the asphalt. Once it's time for a vertical take-off, however, two of the tires (at opposite corners of the vehicle) swing out to sit parallel to the road. They then start spinning, with the spokes now serving as rotor blades that create enough lift to get the car off the ground. The other two tires subsequently also swing out and spin up, allowing for a full quadcopter-style take-off.

Data from its sensors, and from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems, would be analyzed by the Aero tire's onboard artificial intelligence processor
Data from its sensors, and from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems, would be analyzed by the Aero tire's onboard artificial intelligence processor

After the vehicle becomes airborne, the Aeros then tilt to face forward, becoming propellers for fast forward flight.

Because the tires would need to rotate very quickly for long periods of time, they'd utilize a zero-friction magnetic propulsion system. They would also incorporate fiber optic sensors to monitor road conditions, tread wear and overall structural integrity. Data from those sensors, and from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems, would be analyzed by an onboard artificial intelligence processor – it would in turn advise if the vehicle should be driven or flown, based on the circumstances.

The Aero concept is demonstrated in the animation below.

Source: Goodyear

Goodyear Aero - A two-in-one tire for the autonomous, flying cars of the future.

15 comments
MikeofLA
I can not see those small tires generating anywhere near enough lift. These would need to be much bigger.
flyerfly
I drew up something like this 30 years ago. Except my design had a lifting body for the car...But the tires/wheels were the same idea. Nothing new here. The blades on my tires were much bigger though. Mike said it right...the tiny blades on the goodyear one are not going to work at a normal RPM.
AladdinConnolly
@mike Larger definitely. But this whole concept is nonsense. And it is only out there for publicity. There is no way those spokes could have enough flex for the road and still be vital aircraft components. Aircraft have very high safety standards for obvious reasons and continuous road use on flexing components could never offer such safety guarantees. Of course goodyear knows this. They haven't even come out with a legit flex wheel that only works on cars despite decades of these concepts. But they get headlines so they are worthwhile.
Howe
That looks awesome, I can't wait to fly in one of those...next century.
VincentWolf
As in Back to the Future II--Where were going we don't need tires! Just Tire props!
Martin Hone
A bit of curb damage could ruin your whole day......
Bionic88
Aircraft mechanic here(also weekend car warrior). There's no way this prototype would get off the ground(surprised I was the first to say it). Tire wear would instantly create an imbalance. There would be easier options than creating a self balancing component just to drive this around...tread could possibly be stationary in flight, but that seems to be too much trouble than it needs to be. Unless the wheels are for taxiing, the tweel design this is similar to will have to overcome the vibration issues it faces at highway speeds..somewhere around 45mph and up I think . No credible sources..just from memory. And I haven't heard about any progression the last couple years.
joe02
The balancing on two wheels and creating enough lift on just two wheels is problematic. A much better approach is to have 4 built in jack tubes beneath the vehicle that extend out enough to raise up the vehicle so that the wheels can rotate to the take off position and then begin to spin to take off speed. Race cars already use this approach.Here is a link to a youtube video showing how they work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgLx7QWbL8s The jacks would be retracted after liftoff and extended prior to landing.
JOC
Even more than driverless nonsense (it could be argued many cars already 'lack drivers'), flying cars, bikes and jetpacks are silly.
anthony88
Maybe on a Goodyear blimp...maybe.