Goodyear announces self-inflating tires

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 14, 2011

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.

Press Release

Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology Named One of 2012's Best Inventions by Time magazine

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's (NYSE: GT) Air Maintenance Technology has been named one of Time magazine's "Best Inventions of the Year 2012."

Each year Time magazine's technology editors list the year's "most important innovations." This year's list includes 25 inventions, which in addition to Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology, includes NASA's Z-1 space suit, the Tesla Model S electric car and indoor clouds.

Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) will help ensure the optimum tire pressure is maintained and as a result, could mean substantial savings at the fuel pump. All of its components, including the miniaturized pump, will be fully contained within the tire.

"As soon as the pressure in these Goodyear tires gets too low, they know it," the Time editors wrote about Goodyear's AMT. "An internal pressure regulator opens to allow air to flow into a pumping tube, and as the wheel turns, the flattened part helps squeeze air from the tube through an inlet valve into the tire."

"We are honored to be named as one of Time magazine's 'Best Inventions of the Year 2012,'" said Goodyear's Chief Technical Officer Jean-Claude Kihn. "This award recognizes the outstanding work of our engineers in Akron and Luxembourg, as well as our efforts to bring innovative new products to market.

"A tire that can maintain its own inflation is something drivers have wanted for many years," Kihn added. "This is the kind of technological breakthrough that people will recognize."

Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology is currently under development by Goodyear in Akron and Luxembourg and is not yet available for purchase.

Time joins Popular Mechanics and Car & Driver magazines in recognizing Goodyear's innovative Air Maintenance Technology. In October, Popular Mechanics named AMT a 2012 Breakthrough Award winner. In December 2011, Car & Driver selected AMT as one of its 10 "most promising future technologies."

A full list of the 2012 Time magazine "Best Inventions of the Year 2012" is available in the November 12 issue or online at http://tiny.cc/gv2cnw.

Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 71,000 people and manufactures its products in 53 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.

Topics: goodyear, tyres

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