Every year, the technology editors at Time magazine compile a list of what they consider as the most important innovations of the year. For 2012, the list contains 25 inventions like indoor clouds, the Tesla Model S, and the NASA Z-1 space suit. One particular invention that is included in the "Best Inventions of the Year 2012" is the Air Maintenance Technology from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's (NYSE: GT).
Goodyear remains to be the largest tire company in the world with 53 facilities spread across 22 countries worldwide and employing 71,000 people. It has two Innovation Centers with one located in Akron, Ohio, with the other being in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg. In these two facilities, the company hopes to develop services and advanced products that hopefully will be able to set new benchmarks for performance and technology in the auto industry.
Through the Air Maintenance Technology, tire pressure is guaranteed to be at an optimum which translates to potential savings in terms of fuel usage. All of the parts, even the miniaturized pump, will be placed inside the tire. Jean-Claude Kihn, Chief Technical Officer of Goodyear, shared that the company is more than honored to be part of the 'Best Inventions of the Year 2012' created by Time magazine.
This award acknowledges all the outstanding work that has been done by engineers at its Luxembourg and Akron facilities, he added. It also recognizes the efforts that the company has done in order to introduce a new and innovative product to the market, he continued. Kihn said further that drivers have long wanted to have a tire that would be able to maintain its very own inflation. He continued by stating that the Air Maintenance Technology is a breakthrough that people will ultimately recognize. According to the editors at Time, Goodyear’s technology is able to determine if the pressure present in its tires are starting to become low.
Once this happens, the internal pressure regulator is then opened in order to let air flow to its pumping tube. While the wheel is turning, the flattened portion helps squeeze any air from its tube and then channels it to the inlet valve and inside the tires. While the Air Maintenance Technology is still being developed by its two facilities, this same technology is not yet being sold. This Air Maintenance Technology was not only honored by Time magazine but also by Car & Driver and Popular Mechanics.
It was in December 2011 when Car & Driver named this technology as one of the 10 most promising technologies of the future. Popular Mechanics meanwhile selected it as the Breakthrough Award winner in October 2012. The complete list of the "Best Inventions of the Year 2012" is found in the November 12 issue and can be accessed online through http://tiny.cc/gv2cnw.