The wheel of the future has been promising for 15 years to revolutionize the automotive sector but we have had to wait until 2021 to see it come true. We present to you the Michelin Uptis.
We have all dreamed of that moment when we do not have to check the wheels of our vehicle every long trip. The routine is tedious and we always end up with greasy hands because the earplugs are never too clean.
Lack of air can lead to not only increased gas mileage but more hydroplaning and a greater propensity for unexpected tire breakage. Therefore, in addition to being heavy to keep in optimal conditions, their collateral damage can be fatal.
So why do we continue to use air-filled wheels as the only way to ride on the road? Well, because we had not found anything better, until now.
Removing the impractical tracks from the tanks, the traditional air-filled rubber wheel was the most optimal solution found by man until engineers in the early 2000s decided to take a step forward.
And, after 16 years of work and research, the Michelin Uptis are a reality that are close to being commercialized, although already being tested on road vehicles in some auto shows (IAA Munich, for example).
Michelin has partnered with General Motors to design and begin selling an airless tire for street use in passenger cars.. Called Uptis, this product is a complete wheel solution that requires specialized tires.
Michelin states that it will withstand much greater impacts than a traditional tire and will have a much longer useful life (up to three times more), without adding rolling resistance, without giving the driver a different feel and adding only 7% to the weight of the wheel.
To make them less raw material and less energy is needed, which makes them more ecological according to Michelin.
General Motors will start offering Uptis as an option on certain models of its cars from 2024, and the association is already working with the US Government to obtain approvals for use in road vehicles.