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General Motors is looking to reinvent its wheels.

The automaker is partnering with Michelin to develop a revolutionary non-pneumatic wheel and tire combination for use on production cars and trucks.


Codenamed Uptis -- an acronym for “Unique Puncture-proof Tire System” – it uses a flexible composite matrix instead of a chamber of air to bear the weight of a vehicle while also absorbing imperfections in the surface. The main advantages are a reduction in blowouts and premature wear due to improper inflation.



Michelin offers similar products it calls Tweels for lawnmowers, skid-steers and ATVs, but GM is the first automaker it is working with to put them on the road.

According to Michelin, they weigh less than a traditional run-flat tire and wheel combination and that a driver won't notice any difference in performance.



GM said it will soon begin real-world test on a fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs with an eye on offering them as factory equipment on some models by 2024.
 

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Given the number of cars now sold without spare tyres, I don’t understand the customer need here.
It appears most drivers don’t spend time worrying about punctures.

The airless tyre has to still meet or exceed all the other qualities that conventional tyres have,
grip, feel, low noise, cornering and braking tread stability, ride, durability, wet weather and low temperature performance to name a few.

But neither the GM nor Michelin press releases mention much more than being puncture proof and less weight.
Is this to combat Michigan’s bad roads and potholes?
Or is about not having to ever check the tyre pressures again?

And anyway, how do lawnmowers get punctures?
 

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They have been working on this for over a decade, search for the Tweel. They actually sell them now but are stupid expensive. They sell them for mowers like above and John Deere has them OEM on certain tractors.
 
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