Besides improved materials and production methods, the technology behind automobile tires hasn’t improved much in the last hundred years.
Tires are still basically the same thing they were in the early 20th century, rubber donuts attached to a metal hoop and filled with air.
But Korean tire company Hankook, as reported by wired.com has recently unveiled a new wheel which eschews the traditional air filled tire. Dubbed the i-Flex by Hankook, the result is a lighter, more durable and efficient model which utilizes geometric cells to line the inside of the wheel. This allows the unit to act as a unified suspension component.
While this tire is likely more than a few years away from being available to the masses, we here at Simple Part can’t help but think of the effect an airless tire like this could have on the auto parts market.
Would it change the way suspensions are built entirely?
Could it bring an end to the wheel as we currently know it?
Would this wheel bring about less frequent tire maintenance and changes?
Yes, this “reinvention of the wheel” could mean big changes for the auto industry going forward. From less tire maintenance to a smoother ride expect to see a lot more of this tire in coming years.
For more information on Hankook’s i-Flex tire, read the full report on wired.com at the link below: