Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced that the commercial application of its Air Maintenance Technology is debuting at the 2012 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany. The company said that over the past year, its researchers have been working on the technology application that can aid in fuel savings and CO2 reductions while potentially improving performance and eliminating need for external inflation pressure intervention.
Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology mechanism is designed to allow tires to maintain constant optimum pressure without the use of external pumps, electronics and driver intervention, resulting in improved fuel economy, prolonged tread life and optimized tire performance.
“We believe the Air Maintenance Technology application for commercial vehicle tires will not only enhance the performance of the tire, but will also provide cost savings to fleet owners and operators through the extension of tire tread life and increased fuel economy,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear’s chief technical officer. “The progress we continue to make with this technology is very encouraging. We look forward to further testing of this concept.”
Engineers at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio, USA are credited with the development of the commercial application of the concept and the supporting technology. The company said prototype tires have been produced in Goodyear’s manufacturing plant in Topeka, Kan., and an extensive fleet trial is planned to gather real-world information from customers in 2013.
“Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology has the potential to be a game-changer for the commercial trucking industry,” said Phillip Kane, vice president, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. “By addressing issues that are critically important to trucking operations, Air Maintenance Technology can help keep their trucks up and running while optimizing their productivity.”
A $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technology is helping speed up research, development and demonstration of the AMT system for commercial vehicle tires. A grant from the Luxembourg government for research and development will continue to help fund Goodyear’s efforts in researching and developing the AMT system for consumer tires.