Owning an automobile has its perks and challenges. The perks being is that daily commute or weekend excursions are more convenient. Not having to rely on public transportation or ride-sharing services can give individuals more flexibility when it comes to their schedule. Now, one of the downsides to vehicle ownership is the upkeep. Regular maintenance should be a top priority to keep everything in optimal operating condition. Aside from engine oil, air filters and other essential automotive fluids, tyre replacement is crucial for a lot of reason. Goodyear teases its reCharge concept, which boasts a unique regenerative system.
While there are proper practices to keep tyres from wearing out earlier. Some factors are entirely out of anyone's control. As such, even with careful driving, the treads will eventually wear down until it reaches a point where it will require replacement for safety reasons.
Therefore, once these are swapped out for new ones, a landfill is the next likely destination. Goodyear hopes to reduce the waste produced by the transportation industry with its innovative approach. In 2017, data shows that approximately 250 million tyres were scrapped in the United States, reports Wired.
"The tire is one of the few components that doesn't stay on for the life of the vehicle," states Goodyear Chief Technology Officer Chris Helsel. "It's replaced quite often. So the first problem to solve was to make the tire more of a permanent structure, as part of the vehicle itself," he added. This is where the reCharge concept comes in as it is positioned to be a sustainable solution.
Unlike conventional pneumatic tyres, the reCharge integrates the wheel and rubber into a single assembly. While it is still in the concept phases, the images provided by the manufacture shows how the system will function.
The crucial component is the pressurised cartridge embedded within the tyres. As the tread wears down, the mileage of the vehicle increases; the change in pressure from the surface will trigger the sensors to release a special compound that squeezes out of special channels to mould it into shape. Hence, this makes the reCharge virtually everlasting until the compound runs out and would need replacement.