New tyre technology could generate electricity as it rolls

A new tyre technology could see electricity generated while a car is driven.

Being developed by Sumitomo Rubber Industries, owner of tyre manufacturer Falken, the new system uses static electricity to produce power in a process known as frictional charging.

Inside the tyres are two layers of rubber each covered with an electrode, as well as a negatively charged film which links up with a positively charged film.

These components then generate electricity as they deform during rotation. The manufacturer believes that the energy generated could be used to power sensors and other devices in the car without the need for batteries.

The tyre technology has been developed as part of a new research and development programme which is looking to develop new technologies that can improve ‘safety and environmental performance’. It has now been selected by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, which will give its support to the project.

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