In the recently concluded 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, Goodyear introduced their latest concept called Oxygene. Unlike today’s current crop of tires, the Oxygene was designed not only to carry a vehicle’s weight and roll along the road, it is also capable of releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
For Goodyear, the old concept of mobility deserves a new twist as the wheel becomes the focus of a solution to clean up polluted air in a convenient, safe and sustainable manner. The Oxygene incorporates moss in its tire. The moss is a living plant that grow in the sidewall, and it has a structure unique to Oxygene tires. The open structure coupled with a smart new tread design absorbs water and moisture from the road, and circulates it along the rest of the tire. This allows the moss to grow along with continuous photosynthesis, which in turn releases oxygen back to the atmosphere.
Goodyear is a multinational tire company employing 64,000 people in 48 offices and plants in 22 countries worldwide. It has Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio and Colmer-Berg, Luxembourg.
The Oxygene design uses circular economy reducing material waste, energy loss as well as emissions. It helps to address current pollution levels in urban areas.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released a study which states that for people living in pollution-measured cities, more than 80% are exposed to low levels of air quality that does not meet WHO limits.
According to Chris Delaney, the President of Goodyear in Europe, Middle East and Africa, “More than two-thirds of the world population are expected to live in cities by 2050, and the demands on transport networks in urban environments will increase substantially.”
Delaney also added that “smarter, greener infrastructure and transport will be crucial in addressing the most pressing challenges of urban mobility and development.”
Oxygene features the following advanced performance solutions:
- Ability to clean the air: It absorbs water and moisture from the road and breaths in carbon dioxide, feeding the moss in the sidewall, thereby releasing oxygen through photosynthesis. A city the size of Paris and its 2.5 million vehicles, can generate up to 3,000 tons of oxygen and absorb more than 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
- Recycle Used Tires: Oxygene is a new 3D-printed technology which recycles rubber powder from recycled tires. It is also puncture-free and delivers hassle-free mobility.
- Electric power self-generation. It is a smart device with embedded electronics including sensors, an AI processing unit and a smart light strip on the tire’s sidewall that is capable of changing colors to warn pedestrians and other vehicles.
- LiFi capable: It uses visible light communication (LiFi) for mobile connectivity. This enables connection to Internet of Things (IoT), which allows vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-everything (V2X), which are requirements for smart mobility management system.
Goodyear created Oxygene to show a concept which will be necessary in the near future. So far, there is no indication when this advanced smart tire will be available in the market. It is however, a great proof of concept that tires can indeed be green from the inside out.