Published February 18, 2014
You know how it goes.
You're out for a nice winter drive, enjoying the scenery, when out of nowhere several cars full of international criminals start shooting at you and chase you onto a frozen lake.
It seems to happen often to James Bond -- really often -- and his solution is to simply press a button that deploys hidden metal studs in his car's tires, then do some fancy driving while firing missiles at the baddies before delivering a clever quip to his lovely passenger as they continue on their way.
Soon you may be able to do the same.
Not the missiles, or the clever bit, but deploy some studs.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the winter tire, Finland's Nokian Tyres has developed one featuring retractable studs. Each metal pin sits in its own housing flush with the surface of the tire, and is extended at the push of button, just like in the movies. This allows the tires to be used on dry surfaces without sacrificing grip or ride quality, while offering improved traction on ice.
Nokian isn't the first to attempt this in the real world, a South Carolina startup appropriately named Q Tires gave it a shot back in 2008, but declared bankruptcy a few years later.
Nokian may have learned a lesson from that endeavor, as it isn't planning to put it's so-called "world's first non-studded winter tire with studs" into production just yet, but says it may indeed become a reality some day.