In the early fall of last year Michelin gave their R&D team a pretty tough task; reinvent the wheel. Now, less than a year later, it looks as if they’ve risen to the challenge. Introducing the Michelin VISION Airless Tire.
It is genuinely dizzying how many different emerging technologies the storied tire manufacturer has managed to fit into this thing. The first and most obvious feature of this tire is the fact that it doesn’t need to be inflated. Instead of relying on air for support, the wheel has an intricate inner structure that holds the vehicle up. The tread around that wheel, amazingly, is built completely out of a bio-degradable material manufactured using a special 3D printing process. Cool, right? Even cooler is the fact that users can adjust that 3D printed tread for either sunny, rainy, or snowy weather. Wear the tread down after a series of long drives? The integrated sensors will communicate with your phone so you can get them re-printed. Rather than taking your tires in to get rotated, we may soon be taking them to the shop to get re-printed.