Could compressed air pumps at gas stations someday become as obsolete as pay phones? Bridgestone Tires recently showed off its new airless tire design at the 2011 Tokoyo Motor Show, and although the prototype is only scooter-sized, some think the technology could have a future with normal cars.
Here's how the new tires work:
CNET reports that the idea of airless tires has already been used by the U.S. military and that Michelin also has a similar tire called the Tweel, which hasn't taken off commercially due to heat, vibration and noise issues. But CNET notes that Bridgestone's Airfree design is different than Tweel and the company will at some point test the design on cars. As it is though, the technology can only hold a single passenger and a total of 330 pounds.
In a press release, Bridgestone says that these tires are part of its mission to create a non-pneumatic tire with less of an environmental impact.