Hankook Tire recently displayed its “i-Flex” airless tire at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas.
The South Korean manufacturer said that the new product does not need air. This is thanks to its biomimetic design.
It has a multi-layer interlocking spoke that absorbs shock and supports the load-bearing structure. It measures 10 inches and requires no tire pressure checkups.
The company also said that it prevents accidents that are commonly caused by flat tires.
“i-Flex is suitable for autonomous driving vehicles because its unique prototype is designed for a maximum ground plane,” a Hankook representative said.
“The new product has already gained customers, as it was used for Hyundai Motor’s latest robotics mobility platform, called Plug & Drive module.”
The Hyundai module culminates intelligent steering, braking, suspension hardware, and in-wheel electric drive.
The i-Flex is a result of the development of non-pneumatic tire technologies by Hankook Tire that has taken place for more than 10 years. According to experts, similar products will be produced soon.
“We did not previously think that tires do not require air. But in fact, airless tires can be much safer than existing ones that need air pressure,” Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea.
“In line with other automotive innovations like electric vehicles and driverless cars, more and more unprecedented technologies are to arrive in the future,” he said.
Other new innovations are still rolling out at the annual consumer electronics show. Among them includes a flying racecar from a Japanese company, BMW’s color-changing exterior paint, and new electric concept cars from Mercedes and Chrysler.