Automotive

Spherical concept tire takes AI on the road

Spherical concept tire takes A...
Goodyear's Eagle 360 Urban tire
Goodyear's Eagle 360 Urban tire
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Goodyear's Eagle 360 Urban tire
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Goodyear's Eagle 360 Urban tire

At last year's Geneva Motor Show, Goodyear unveiled a spherical tire concept known as the Eagle 360. Linked to the car using a magnetic levitation suspension system (theoretically, at least), a set of the tires would allow the vehicle to move in any direction – even sideways. At this year's show, the company has pushed the concept a step further, with the artificial-intelligence-packin' Eagle 360 Urban.

Like its predecessor, the 360 Urban's exterior consists of a sensor-laden rubber "bionic skin." This would allow it to continuously monitor road conditions, and adapt its tread accordingly.

The new tire would do the latter via electrically-triggered actuators beneath its surface, which pull the individual tread elements in to form "dimples" in wet conditions, or pushes them out to form a smooth tread when the roads are dry. Using its artificial intelligence system, it could then learn what tread patterns work best in which conditions, and apply that knowledge in the future.

It's also designed to communicate via the internet with other vehicles that are running the same kind of tires. In this way, it could both transmit and receive data regarding conditions on the road ahead, allowing the tread to change proactively so it's ready for what's coming.

Additionally, its "brains" would allow it to detect when punctures occur. Should this happen, it could rotate itself so that the punctured section was no longer making contact with the road. Sealant would then flow out from within the tire, sealing the hole.

So, how long will it be before you see a set of Eagle 360 Urbans on a vehicle near you? Well, they obviously won't fit on regular cars, so compatible vehicles will have to be manufactured first. Judging by the scenery in the video below, that might not be for a while.

Source: Goodyear

Goodyear Eagle 360 Urban

11 comments
S Michael
Nice Sci-Fi video of a de-populated world. If goodyear really wanted to do something for the "real world" may I suggest making their tires out of some other material that would last 2 or three hundred thousand miles before being replaced. Oh, wait... that would mean they wouldn't be making a lot of tires and profits would go down. Silly me...
SteveMc
Production - at least 30 to 50 years down the line, if we are still here.... We've not mastered simple electric cars yet, or more accurately, battery technology. That's kinda more important than 'inventing' a gyroscope balanced two wheeler that nobody needs or would be able to use until we change our roads to glass or other smooth surface. Complete fantasy.
watersworm
Pretty and smarty golf ball !
Commontator
Other than insta-barf-induction turns, what does it do that properly implemented existing tech can't already do (for less)? Oh! Impress the neighbors, Yes! Applause to Yamaha for their Tricity (3-wheel, tilting) motorcycle that lets old riders feel the potholes, wind and oil slicks, hail and rain, although we've lost our sense of balance back when Indian lost it's amazing stick-shift power train. But who applauds a car with big black-and-blue balls? Nestor the robo-can?
Bruce H. Anderson
And each tire weighs how much? I assume all those acutators aren't made of air or anti-gravity Fremulon. And, by the way, all cars need to be re-designed. Easy peasy.
Charles S Roscoe
This will make it easy for the CIA to hack your ride and kill you.
Hahahahahaha, suckers.
WIKILEAKS: CIA EXPLORED CAR HACKING TO CARRY OUT “UNDETECTABLE ASSASSINATIONS”
Leak revives mystery behind strange death of Michael Hastings Paul Joseph Watson | Infowars. com - MARCH 7, 2017
BobLoblaw
Great... now they want us to have tires that instead of just wearing out, can malfunction by actually actively forming a slick surface on a slick wet road. Why don't they just lobby the government to remove the law that tires have to hold air, and then roll out the air-less tires? Then instead of AI "auto-treads" we could have actuators that are manually activated and actually useful, rather than just adding a complication/point of failure as if we have a flaming car wreck shortage.
MattII
An interesting concept, but the Jeep Hurricane (2005) would render it redundant.
MaksimBandel
This car is also a teleport. Where did Alex go?
Stradric
Despite the negative comments, I think visions of the future like this are valuable. An omni-directional wheel suspended by magnets has less moving parts and is easier for a computer system to manipulate in a self-driving car. As an example, imagine programming a computer to do parallel parking with traditional wheels versus this system's spherical, omni-directional wheels. One is a complex dance of properly coordinated wheel turns. The other simply just aligns and slides right in.