Recently, Michelin and General Motors started testing the Uptis Airless tyre prototype on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The companies will soon begin the real-world testing of the Uptis on a test fleet of Bolt EV vehicles in Michigan, US. The Uptis Airless tyre prototype is a major sign of progress in Michelin’s Vision concept. This concept was previously seen at the Movin’On Summit in 2017 as an example of Michelin’s approach to sustainable mobility. These companies have also announced a joint research agreement under which they plan to get the Uptis Prototype approved with the goal of introducing the Airless tyre in passenger vehicles by 2024.
As the Uptis prototype is Airless, the wheel construction dismisses the risk of flat tires and sudden blowouts. This new airless tyre has many benefits, such as:
- Drivers of passenger vehicles feel safer on the road.
- Operators of passenger vehicle fleets minimize downtime and improve efficiency resulting from flat tires and near-zero levels of maintenance.
- Society at large benefits from extraordinary environmental savings through reduced use of raw materials for replacement tire or spare tire production.
Michelin’s Vision concept introduced 4 main pillars of innovation: Airless design, Connected construction, 3D-printed prototype and a 100% sustainable product. The Uptis Prototype is specially engineered for today’s passenger vehicles and difficult road conditions. The new Airless tyre is also well suited for the various different forms of mobility. No matter what kind of vehicle you use, petrol, diesel or even an electric powered vehicle, the maintenance costs of the tire would remain zero, while maximizing the driving capabilities. The Uptis also features ground-breaking improvements like innovative architecture and composite materials, which enable the tyre to bear the car’s weight at road-going speeds. These innovations combine to eliminate the need for compressed air to support the vehicle’s load and result in exceptional environmental savings.
Commenting on the matter Eric Vinesse, Executive Vice-President, Research and Development, Group Michelin said, “The Uptis Prototype demonstrates Michelin’s capacity for innovation — in both the mastery of these high-tech materials and also the development approach in close collaboration with GM, which validates our Vision concept as a roadmap for innovation. Uptis represents progress toward Michelin’s vision for tomorrow’s mobility and also embodies our commitment to better, sustainable mobility for all.”
“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology. Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.”, said Steve Kiefer, Senior Vice-President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, General Motors. Commenting on this achievement, Florent Menegaux, Chief Executive Officer for Michelin Group said, “Uptis demonstrates that Michelin’s vision for a future of sustainable mobility is clearly an achievable dream. Through work with strategic partners like GM, who share our ambitions for transforming mobility, we can seize the future today.”