By: Jag Dhatt
Being in Montreal in June 2017 was quite the experience, especially if one was attending Michelin’s Movin’On Conference, which focused on sustainability and mobility. This global conference gave attendees the chance to not only partake in a number of panels, discussions, and hands-on workshops, but introduced some amazing new technologies and visions. One which created quite the buzz was the Vision Concept tire, which was presented by Michelin’s executive vice-president of R&D, Terry Gettys.
Vision is a concentration and collaboration of many technologies, resulting in a tire that is airless, connected, rechargeable, customizable and organic. What’s more is that Vision is both a wheel and tire. “The tire is inspired by nature with a very light, efficient structure,” said Gettys. “It’s not in production. It is a long-term concept which brings together our vision of all the elements of sustainable mobility,” continued Gettys.
The Vision tire is amazing to say the least. According to Michelin staff, one of the most unique aspects of Vision is that it’s rechargeable, meaning that it has the ability to change tread patterns to adapt to various road conditions, climates, and driving styles. This could be done via 3D printers, even along the route to your destination. Visit this link to view pictures and a remarkable video that showcases how Vision can easily adapt to various road and climate conditions:
A major, and dangerous, problem for professional drivers, especially on-highway truck drivers, is blowouts. Since Vision is an airless tire, there is no chance of this happening, thanks to an innovative interior architecture that supports the vehicle while providing safety and comfort.
Since one of the focus points of Movin’On is sustainability, Vision is made of both bio-sourced and biodegradable materials – organic, including natural rubber, paper, bamboo, tin, wood, waste, tire chips, cloth, cardboard, and even molasses! That’s quite the list.
Finally, in order to make sure Vision is optimal at all times, it’s equipped with sensors that provide real time information about its condition. And thanks to a new mobile application, drivers can even make an appointment to change the tire’s destination, depending on user needs.
One of Michelin North America’s aims is to the improvement of sustainability and the new Vision concept tire is thus, headed in the right direction. Don’t start getting rid of your tires already because according to Gettys, Vision is still about 10 years away, which in reality, isn’t too far away.