Talk about a literal green movement for the automotive industry.
Goodyear has unveiled a new concept tire that features living moss growing within the sidewall that provides a path toward a more sustainable urban mobility.
Dubbed Oxygene, the tire features an open structure with the smart tread design that absorbs and circulates moisture and water from the road surface allowing photosynthesis to occur and release oxygen into the air.
The concept tire was built with the future of mobility in mind to reduce material waste, emissions and energy loss.
“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,” says Chris Delaney, president of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Smarter, greener infrastructure and transport will be crucial in addressing the most pressing challenges of urban mobility and development.”
Oxygene tires inhale CO2 from the air to feed the moss in the sidewall, which converts it to oxygen via photosynthesis. In a city the size of Paris, where there are 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.
The tires feature a non-pneumatic construction that is 3D-printed with rubber powder from recycled tires. Oxygene are lightweight, shock-absorbing and feature puncture-free technology to extend the life of the tire and minimize service issues.
Oxygene also harvests the energy generated during photosynthesis to power its embedded electronics such as onboard sensors, artificial intelligence processing unit and a customizable light strip in the sidewall that switches colors warning both road users and pedestrians of upcoming maneuvers like lane changing or breaking.
The Oxygene tire uses visible light communication, or LiFi, for mobile connectivity at the speed of light. LiFi allows the tire to connect to the internet of things, allowing for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) data exchange, something considered to be critical for smart mobility management.
While there are no plans to bring the tire to production, it is meant as a way to challenge traditional thinking regarding the sustainable future of mobility.