Michelin and General Motors have teamed up for the development of the Uptis (Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System), or 3D-printed, airless tires for passenger vehicles that eliminate the dangerous risks associated with flat tires and blowouts caused by punctures or road hazards. Michelin and GM’s goal is to make Uptis a mainstream reality on passenger vehicles in 2024.
With a concentration of technologies, this concept tire is airless, connected, rechargeable, customizable, and organic. There would be no need for regular tire maintenance, such as pressure checks, and inspections for damage caused by punctures. Currently, Michelin and GM are testing the Uptis prototype on a fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EV cars in Michigan.
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According to Michelin’s in-house “scrapyard” survey (2012–2015), 1 billion tires are discarded each year. The Uptis is bio-sourced and biodegradable, so when it comes to large-scale production, these qualities could significantly reduce the use of raw materials and waste.