Michelin has finally announced that its airless tires for passenger vehicles will be available from 2024. The tires have been in development for more than 10 years.
Michelin is calling its airless tires Uptis. It is a technology that has been used on certain construction machinery since 2019 but which had not yet found its way to the general public, despite regular presentations. Finally, Michelin will be the first tire manufacturer to offer airless tires with its Uptis range.
Michelin has partnered with General Motors for the design and marketing of this brand new generation of airless tires which is designed to be puncture-proof, but also more ecological and economical.
Uptis (Unique Punctureproof Tire System) eliminates the risk of punctures, maintenance of tire pressure, hernia or bursting problems, pressure management and the effects of under or over inflation, it is thus intended to be particularly suitable for transport companies which manage fleets of vehicles which will never again be immobilized for a standard tire problem.
The new tire also responds to a global problem: rubber production has experienced a major slowdown following a disease that destroyed a large part of the rubber plantations. Uptis requires much less rubber than a standard tire and can also be made from a large amount of recycled material.
The Uptis tire can also withstand greater impacts than conventional tires, without affecting the ride. Mounting on an aluminum wheel with a flexible support structure made of synthetic rubber and high-strength glass-resin composite makes it particularly strong in all circumstances.
The tread for its part can be declined in any type of season, it can even swap the usual furrows for holes in order to evacuate even more water and thus limit aquaplanning. Michelin refers to a tire capable of lasting up to 3 times longer than a conventional tire.
Integrated as part of the French group’s Vision program, Uptis also displays a number of ecological arguments. Initially, its hollow design allows to reduce waste, but all its manufacture also aims to reduce as much as possible the use of rubber and all the elements of fossil origin, the mark thus gives itself until 2050. to produce a tire that is 100% made of durable materials.
Uptis will be offered as an option on certain General Motors models from 2024. The heavy goods vehicle market should be affected a few years later.