Michelin's Uptis airless tire, unveiled as a prototype two years ago, is now in the road-testing phase ahead of a scheduled market launch in 2024. While preventing punctures, this technology promises to be safer on the road.
Uptis -- which stands for "Unique Puncture-proof Tire System" is an airless tire that eliminates all risk of puncture. Compared to a conventional tire, air is completely eliminated in favor of a completely new structure made of patented composite materials.
At the last IAA Mobility show in Munich, the tire was demonstrated on a Mini Electric, the idea being to test this tire intensively with a view to marketing it in the future. This is now scheduled for 2024, probably with General Motors, the French manufacturer's partner in this project.
The aim is to make driving safer and reduce raw material waste. Every year, some 200 million tires worldwide are prematurely discarded because of a puncture or wear due to incorrect tire pressure. Michelin's ambition is to one day recycle every tire at the end of its life. To this end, a first recycling plant is currently under construction in Chile and is expected to recycle around 30,000 tonnes of tires per year starting in 2023.