Goodyear's Oxygene tyre is 'moss' interesting

By CARSIFU | 27 March 2018

GENEVA: Goodyear's latest Oxygene concept tyre, introduced during this year's Geneva International Motor Show, has quite literally brought the future of mobility to life.

The concept tyre has a unique structure that features living moss growing within the sidewall to absorb and circulate moisture and water from the road surface, allowing photosynthesis to occur, thus releasing oxygen.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 80% of people who live in air pollution-measured urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits.

“With more than two-thirds of the world population expected to live in cities by 2050, the demands on transport networks in urban environments will increase substantially. Smarter, greener infrastructure and transport will be crucial in addressing the most pressing challenges of urban mobility and development,” said Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa president Chris Delaney.

Goodyear Oxygene - 03
With emphasis on reducing material waste, emissions, and energy loss, the American tyre maker's concept is designed to integrate seamlessly into future cityscapes, featuring several performance solutions.

The tyre absorbs moisture from the road through its unique tread and 'inhales' carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air to feed the moss in its sidewall to release oxygen via photosynthesis.

In a city similar in size to greater Paris with about 2.5 million vehicles, this would mean generating nearly 3,000 tons of oxygen and absorbing more than 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Goodyear Oxygene - 05
The tyre features a non-pneumatic construction that is 3D-printed with rubber powder from recycled tyres.

The lightweight, shock-absorbing structure provides a long-lasting, puncture-free solution intended to extend the life of the tyre and minimise service issues, delivering worry-free mobility.

Additional safety is ensured by the tyre’s open structure, which improves wet grip by helping absorb water from the tread.

It also harvests the energy generated during photosynthesis to power its embedded electronics, including on board sensors, an artificial intelligence processing unit, and a customisable light strip in the tyre’s sidewall that switches colours, warning both road users and pedestrians of upcoming manoeuvres, such as lane changes or braking.

Goodyear Oxygene - 06
The tyre also makes use of a visible light communications system (LiFi) for high-capacity mobile connectivity at the speed of light.

LiFi enables the tyre to connect to the Internet of Things, allowing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) data exchange, which is critical to smart mobility management systems.

“Like the concept designs Goodyear has presented at Geneva in the past, Oxygene is meant to challenge our thinking and help drive the debate around smart, safe and sustainable future mobility. By contributing in this way to cleaner air generation, the tyre could help enhance quality of life and health for city-dwellers,” Delaney.