Geneva, Switzerland - The days of checking tire pressure could be a thing of the past thanks to an innovation from Goodyear, which will be publicly demonstrated for the first time at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show.
Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) has been under development in laboratories over the past two years. Visitors to the Geneva International Motor Show will see how tires can remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps, electronics or driver intervention leading to a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
AMT will help ensure the optimum tire pressure is maintained and as a result could mean substantial savings at the fuel pump with underinflated tires resulting in between a 2.5 percent and 3.3 percent decrease in fuel economy, according to government and industry research1.
European research conducted by Goodyear Dunlop shows that consumers are unconcerned about their tire pressure, with half of those surveyed not knowing when to check their tire pressure2 and one in three motorists admitting they would not be very likely to check their tire pressure even before embarking on a long trip3.
For a typical new passenger car, properly inflated tires through AMT could save the driver each year around 57 liters of fuel at a cost of €85. The European community would also benefit from a significant reduction of CO2 emissions4.
Properly inflated tires are also necessary to keep the vehicle's handling performance at optimal levels, especially its cornering abilities. Under-inflation means less evenly distributed pressure on the road. It also reduces the tread area that is in direct contact with the road.
Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer explains: "Consumers often overlook the importance of maintaining proper tire pressure. We believe this technology will enhance safe driving and performance; and have a positive impact on the environment through improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and extended tire life. The progress we have made is very encouraging and we are now ready to demonstrate it in Geneva for the first time."
Last year The United States Department of Energy's Office of Vehicle Technology awarded a US$1.5 million grant for research, development and demonstration of the AMT system for commercial truck tires conducted at Goodyear's Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio. Goodyear also successfully received a grant from the Luxemburg government for research and development of an AMT system for consumer tires. That work has been conducted at Goodyear's Innovation Center in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg.
It is too early in the innovation process to predict when AMT will come to market but the company has confirmed that the grants provided by the US and Luxembourgish governments will certainly speed up development.
1. Owner Related Fuel Economy Improvements, December 2001 http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/pdfs/OwnerRelatedFuelEconomyImprovements.pdf
2. Goodyear Dunlop Road Safety Survey of 3,500 drivers, 2010. Survey Methodology:
- The study was carried out by APCO Insight on behalf of "Goodyear Dunlop Europe" to better understand licensed drivers' road safety awareness, beliefs and practices.
- A total of 3,500 European drivers were surveyed, 500 each for Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK
- Fieldwork was carried out from 31 August to 9 September 2010, Interviews were conducted online in the local language of each country. Nationally representative quotas were set on gender and age
- Respondents had to: Have a valid driver's license, be older than 18, and be an active driver (drive more than 1km per year)
3. Goodyear Dunlop Road Safety Survey of 5,622 drivers, 2011 Survey Methodology:
- The study was carried out by APCO Insight on behalf of "Goodyear Dunlop Europe" to better understand licensed drivers' summer holiday driving behavior, and their road safety awareness, beliefs, and practices
- A total of 5,622 European drivers were surveyed, in Austria (350), Belgium (378), Bulgaria (378), the Czech Republic (378), France (378), Germany (378), Italy (378), Poland (378), Romania (378), Russia (378), Slovakia (378), Slovenia (378), Spain (378), Switzerland (354), and the UK (377).
- Fieldwork was carried out from May 12 to 31, 2011, Interviews were conducted online in the local language of each country
- Respondents had to: Have a valid driver's license, be older than 18, and be an active driver
4. Figures from a typical passenger car, which has a fuel consumption of 8.6 liters per 100 kilometers, driving 20,000km in one year. Fuel price based on the calculation €1.501 based on www.energy.eu as of 14 February 2012.