United States. Goodyear is increasing its focus on airless technology, which is called NexTrek, and is working to find the best option for it.
That includes the tire space for light commercial vehicles and passengers, where autonomous vehicle technology has great potential to take root, especially when thinking about ridesharing or last-mile deliveries.
The most promising spaces are on the side of autonomous vehicles, where maintenance-free solutions are quickly becoming an expectation.
Last month, Las Vegas served as an uncontrolled, real-world testing ground for Goodyear's NexTrek tire technology. Airless tires were installed on a vehicle that was touring the city's famous Strip area.
"Las Vegas always has a constant buzz of excitement, and it was a great backdrop to highlight some key innovations Goodyear has made to promote mobility," Michael Rachita, senior director of Goodyear's Innovation Technology program, told Rubber News.
Highlighting the technology, Goodyear noted that he also learned a little about how to perfect it. While the company didn't say specifically what information it hoped to get from the tests, it did note that the Las Vegas tests helped confirm that it's moving in the right direction.
"Goodyear has set itself the goal of developing the first 100% sustainable and maintenance-free tire by 2030," said Rachita.
"NPTs (non-pneumatic tires) are a promising avenue to get us there, and we are working to leverage this technology for many forms of mobility, including fleets," he added.
"We continue to make significant progress with our NPTs, including (in) recent field trials in consumer electric and commercial autonomous vehicles."