Your next car may have tires that don’t need air

In the future, you may never have to pump air into your car’s tires again. That’s because GM and Michelin have been working together to create an airless tire made of a mix of composite rubber and resin embedded fiberglass that allows it to operate at highway speeds; earlier versions of airless tires only worked when rolling at the pace of a bike.

The tire, which is dubbed the Uptis, should have immediate financial and safety benefits. While it won’t be completely invulnerable, blowouts, flat tires and irregular wear would be things of the past. Beyond this, airless tech reduces the need for environmentally harmful tire production and eliminates the need for a spare tire that adds weight and shrinks fuel economy. They’d also help autonomous vehicles drive around the clock without fear that a stray nail will ruin a trip.

GM now plans to test the Uptis in Michigan later this year on a fleet of Chevy Bolts and expects the finished version to reach production cars as soon as 2024.

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