Are Self-inflating tires a myth?

Science Fiction, or Science Fact? The self-inflating tire: I know we’ve all heard of it’s purported existence, but now it looks like it may come to fruition. That means no more loud compressors, say goodbye to leaky hoses and inaccurate tire gauges. The good people at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company have apparently developed a system which will allow tires to self-inflate automatically.

The technology that Goodyear has developed is called Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) and is completely self-contained, without any need for external pumps or electronics.

“While the technology is complex, the idea behind the AMT system is relatively simple and powered by the tire itself as it rolls down the road,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer.

Here is some theory behind the science.

Now that you know that self-inflating tires are indeed Science Fact don’t bother searching the net just yet for this new tire technology, Goodyear has yet to provide any costs, or even an estimate when the technology will become available to the public. However, don’t let that crush your self-inflating dreams. Goodyear has received grants from the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technology to help further development.

Aside from the “cool” factor, keeping your tires at optimal operating pressure delivers lower emissions, longer tire life, enhanced safety and improved vehicle performance.

Stay tuned for further details. I’ll keep an eye on this topic for a future post. How great would it be if keeping your tires at optimal pressure just meant a quick trip to the corner store for some milk? It’s just one less maintenance issue you will be responsible for in the future.