How bad are Michigan roads? GM is testing airless tires

The Michelin Uptis Prototype is tested on a Chevrolet Bolt EV Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at the General Motors Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan. GM intends to develop this airless wheel assembly with Michelin and aims to introduce it…

It's almost the start of a joke: How bad are Michigan roads?

The roads are so bad in Michigan that General Motors is now testing airless tires in the state.

Michelin and General Motors will begin testing airless wheel technology later this year, with a goal of introducing airless wheel assembly to passenger vehicles as early as 2024.

Later this year, GM will initiate real-world testing and validation of the Uptis Prototype on a Michigan test fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology,” said Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, General Motors. “Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.”

GM says airless tire technology could:

  • Reduces the number of punctured or damaged tires that are scrapped before reaching the end of their life cycle.
  • Reduces the use of raw materials, energy for production and emissions linked to the manufacture of spare tires and replacement tires that are no longer required.
  • Lasts longer by eliminating irregular wear and tear caused by over- or under-inflation.
  • Reduces dangers related to flats and blowouts.

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