(Image source: Continental)
Earlier this year, we brought you the news that Michelin and GM are teaming up to bring airless tyres to the market in 2024. Continental is moving in a different direction with its growth, and the German company has come up with a self-inflating design that says it is "closely aligned with the requirements of electric and autonomous driving"–because that's the way we're all going, obviously.
The concept is known as Conti C.A.R.E (standing for Connected, Autonomous, Reliable, Electrified) and the headline piece of tech is the new, self-inflating ‘PressureProof’ system. Essentially, the force generated by the turning wheel acts on a centrifugal pump, which in turn generates compressed air.
The air is then placed into the tyre to continuously maintain maximum pressure while you're riding around.
Continental states that any surplus compressed air would be contained in an enclosed tank so that you would never slip below the maximum pressures and see a stable reduction in CO2 emissions as well as a small increase in the average fuel economy.
Because everything has to be linked these days, however, C.A.R.E tyres would also use a multitude of sensors to feed information on things such as tread depth, possible damage, tyre temperature and tyre pressure to the device.
Could this be the end of passenger cars? Will the autonomous car be taking over the road in the near future?