Tires are usually used to put power to the road, but what if they could also recover some from it?
That’s the idea behind Goodyear’s BH-03 tire unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week. It has a thermo-piezoelectric material built inside of it that turns heat generated when the tire is rolling into electricity that can be used to charge batteries on an electric or hybrid car.
Its tread was also designed to better absorb sunlight, so it can use that heat to generate additional electricity even when the car is parked. Exactly how much, Goodyear hasn’t said, as the tire is only a concept at this time.
Another one that debuted alongside the BH-03 is the TripleTube, which features three air chambers fitted just under the tread and a system that can adjust the pressure in each of them individually.
When a car is going straight on a dry road, they’re all inflated evenly, but in a turn the outside chamber gets the most pressure to help keep the contact patch as flat as possible. If sensors detect a wet surface, the center chamber inflates, creating a rounder surface more like a motorcycle tire’s that’s better at evacuating water from underneath.
Neither concept is heading for production soon, but Goodyear thinks technology like this could be incorporated into the smart, electric cars of the future.