Goodyear is touting its 117 years of tire-making experience at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, but it is the years ahead that are concerning the American tire brand right now.
Debuting its Eagle-360 spherical tire concept, Goodyear envisions a future where your current tires looks practically two-dimensional in their thinking, and where the contact patch that connects us to the roadway will evolve into a three-dimensional form.
The concept is likely little more than an attempt at grabbing headlines and pretending relevancy, as there is virtually no current demand from automanufacturers for a spherical tire solution.
That notion is compounded by Goodyear’s attempt to link the Eagle-360 to the rise of autonmous vehicles, as if the two things have anything to do with each other. Still, there is something intriguing here.
“By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road,” said Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer.
“Goodyear’s concept tires play a dual role in the future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and as testbeds for next-generation technologies.”
That all being said, a spherical tire concept is an interesting proposal, and it adds a new level of vehicle dynamics to the space. While Goodyear’s focus is clearly for cars, it has some interesting implications for two-wheeled vehicles as well.
Like we have seen with multi-wheeled leaning trikes and quads, the riding experience will be a departure from what we consider as “traditional” for a motorcycle. Of course, different does not mean better, nor does it mean worse.