Michelin developing airless tyre with General Motors

Punctures and dangerous high-speed tyre blowouts could become a thing of the past, if a new prototype Michelin in trialling comes to fruition.

Set to be developed in conjunction with American giant General Motors, the Uptis Prototype is an airless tyre — instead using a rigid rubber structure. Michelin says that along with the potential safety benefits, such a tyre could help the environment as a result of less demand for replacements.

Later this year, Michelin will be supplying these tyres to GM for real-world testing in the USA. They’ll be fitted to a fleet Chevrolet Bolt EVs in Michigan.

The French firm is aiming to put the Uptis (Unique Punctureproof Tire System) into production as early as 2024 and will be designed for use on both passenger vehicles and future forms of mobility — including autonomous cars.

Eric Vinesse, Group Michelin executive vice president of research and development, said:

“The Uptis Prototype demonstrates Michelin’s capacity for innovation — in both the mastery of these high-tech materials, and also the development approach in close collaboration with GM, which validates our Vision concept as a roadmap for innovation.

“Uptis represents progress toward Michelin’s vision for tomorrow’s mobility, and also embodies our commitment to a better, sustainable mobility for all.”