Goodyear Showcases Concept Tire for Flying Cars; 1950's Autonomous Vehicle
Iconic tire company, Goodyear, made two intriguing premieres – both geared toward self-driving vehicles – at the Geneva Motor Show. The first is the company's AERO concept tire designed for autonomous flying cars. Alongside the futuristic rubber, Goodyear also showcased the 1950's Golden Sahara II autonomous show car. The classic showed up completely restored and wearing glowing, see-through tires.
AERO concept tire
Tires are usually round, black and boring – but the Goodyear AERO is different. The concept is imagined to work both as a tire on the ground and a propeller in the air.
"For over 120 years Goodyear has obsessively pursued innovations and inventions, partnering with the pioneers driving change and discovery in transport," said Chris Helsel, Chief Technology Officer at Goodyear. "With mobility companies looking to the sky for the answer to the challenges of urban transport and congestion, our work on advanced tire architectures and materials led us to imagine a wheel that could serve both as a traditional tire on the road and as a propulsion system in the sky."
The AERO is what Goodyear calls a multimodal tilt-rotor concept; it can provide driving force on the ground, or re-orientate and act as an aircraft propulsion system. Design highlights include spokes that double as fan blades and a non-pneumatic (airless) tire construction.
Goodyear also imagines using magnetic force to endow the AERO with frictionless propulsion. Fiber optic sensors would monitor parameters such as road conditions and tire wear. Finally, the concept also includes an embedded A.I. processor to analyze data input – from onboard sensors, as well as V2V and V2I communication – to provide operation recommendations.
Golden Sahara II
There is a lot of fresh sheet metal on display at the Geneva Motor Show. Yet one of the most captivating entrants is a classic built more than half a century ago: the 1950's Golden Sahara II. The car is the work of Jim Street and famed designer, George Barris.
In its day, the concept was a platform for testing advanced technology, including an early form of collision mitigation that applies the brakes in response to sensor data. The car also features an aircraft-style lever used to control acceleration, braking and steering.
For over 50 years, the Golden Sahara II sat in storage before heading to auction as part of Jim Street's estate. Klairmont Kollections purchased the car, which was in dire need of restoration, in 2018 for $385,000. Working in conjunction with Goodyear, the company was able to resurrect the classic vehicle for the Geneva Motor show.
The Golden Sahara II was originally fitted with translucent, light-up tires and it showed up in Switzerland wearing a modern version of the same.
"The Golden Sahara II is a unique vehicle and a part of American motoring history," said Larry Klairmont, founder and owner of Klairmont Kollections, a museum of 300 classic and custom vehicles in Chicago, Illinois. "My team and I are proud to have partnered with Goodyear in bringing this iconic vehicle back to life at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show."
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