Goodyear has announced plans for a “breathing” tyre that cleans the air around it.
Revealed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Oxygene concept features a living moss sidewall that uses photosynthesis to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen.
The Oxygene tyre is a 3D-printed open-structure tyre made from the rubber of recycled tyres. Goodyear says the lightweight non-pneumatic structure should last longer than regular tyres and its open structure will help improve grip by absorbing water from the tread.
The tyre also uses that water to feed its unique moss sidewall. It absorbs moisture from the road through the tread and inhales CO2 from the air to feed the moss, which then releases oxygen via photosynthesis.
Goodyear claims that in a city the size of greater Paris with about 2.5 million vehicles, this could generate nearly 3,000 tonnes of oxygen and absorb more than 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
“With more than two-thirds of the world population expected to live in cities by 2050, the demands on transport networks in urban environments will increase substantially,” said Chris Delaney, president of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Smarter, greener infrastructure and transport will be crucial in addressing the most pressing challenges of urban mobility and development.”
If that’s not enough, the concept tyre harvests the energy generated during photosynthesis to power its embedded electronics, including onboard sensors, an artificial intelligence processing unit, and a customisable light strip in the tyre’s sidewall that switches colours, warning other road users of upcoming manoeuvres.
“Like the concept designs Goodyear has presented at Geneva in the past, Oxygene is meant to challenge our thinking and help drive the debate around smart, safe and sustainable future mobility,” Delaney said. “By contributing in this way to cleaner air generation, the tyre could help enhance quality of life and health for city-dwellers.”