UPTIS is the first airless tire, a revolutionary puncture-proof tire that the Michelin brand plans to introduce on the market in 2024. With Michelin airless UPTIS, tires will lose a significant part of their traditional configuration that has not changed in any way. more than a century of existence.
UPTIS is the acronym for Unique Puncture Proof Tire System, unique puncture-proof tire system. This system seeks to remove punctures from the equation of driving risks and vehicle maintenance costs.
The Michelin Airless UPTIS prototype consists of a tire in which the air chamber has been replaced by a series of sheets made of an elastic and resistant material. The blades are very flexible and have the appearance of spokes, although their length is much shorter, going from the contact point of the wheel axis to the tread that maintains the same profile.The rims change their appearance on these new tires, better adapting the tire to the terrain on which it is rolled. In the new tires, the rims will be made of high-strength aluminum and the tire itself is a combination of composite rubbers – resins and fiberglass.
This combination of materials makes it possible for the new model to be used at high speeds and on the highway. In previous prototypes, the tire performed well only within a low speed range.
But the Michelin Airless UPTIS not only eliminates the risk of puncture, it also has a number of benefits that are much less visible. Benefits such as the reduction of the materials used in the manufacture of ordinary tires, the time spent in producing them and their durability.
Fewer materials means less pollution when manufacturing them and zero punctures will make it possible to dispose of smaller quantities of tires in the future, separating those whose treads are no longer functional or safe due to wear.
Michelin Airless UPTIS is the first manufacturer to guarantee puncture-resistant tires compatible with all cars in a closed distribution schedule. Michelín has invested just over 40 million euros in the development of the first commercial airless tire, in collaboration with General Motors.To do this, it adapted its Clemont-Ferrand plant in France. The UPTIS tire, in all probability, is the evolution of the Vision, which the company announced as one of its developments in 2017
According to information from the Michelin itself, UPTIS tests on real vehicles will be launched in late 2019.
Michelin Airless UPTIS already made a first attempt to manufacture airless tires. It was with the X Tweel system. The X Tweel featured a rigid hub that was connected to the tread with polyurethane spokes.
However, Michelin was not the first brand to dare to introduce this new concept in the automotive sector. In 2013, the Hankook firm already designed its iFlex model conformed with a geometric structure and adaptable flexibility. The iFlex, which did not pass the prototype phase, was developed with ecological materials.
Other tire manufacturers such as Goodyear or Bridgestone, as well as NASA, the United States space agency, also developed their own prototypes.
The difference is in the confidence of a vehicle manufacturer like General Motors that is committed to introducing the flat tire in its future car models. In fact, tests on real vehicles will be conducted as stated in late 2019 on chevrolet bolt electric cars. Specifically on the Bolt EV model.
A trust between car and wheel manufacturers that will allow the mass production of the new Michelin tire and invaluable commercial visibility for the new format. Everything, on a platform -an electric car- that is called to be the immediate future of personal mobility.
The announcement of the start of production of Michelin Airless UPTIS has forced other tire manufacturers and vehicle brands to position themselves with their own developments, such as the case of Toyota and Sumitomo Rubbers, which recently announced that they will market their tubeless wheels in 2020
The future of tires runs out of air.
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