A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the first car ever produced, yet tire design hasn't changed much in the last century. Sure, we have seen the evolution of a tire's tread, but in essence we are there. Let's be honest: an upgrade is needed, and it is no coincidence that important actors are working on it (I think of "airless" by Michelin apparently ready in 2024, to the tire Goodyear "rechargeable").
Hankook Tires has already "joined" the experimenters' club: it is doing research on the "conventional" evolution of tires (with an airless project called i-Flex), and now presents itself with an absolutely frontier vision. That of a fully spherical tire that could change the way we move from point A to point B.
Nice to meet you, Wheelbot
Wheelbot is an omnidirectional tire. It took me 5 words, it should be clear.
In the year of the Lord 2022 the vehicles of the world are very limited in movement, and this also because of the structure of the wheels. Wheelbot addresses this problem by offering multiple directional flexibility without any constraints. In detail, it offers the vehicle many options for use: for example, it makes it stable both in very confined spaces and in the total absence of asphalt. I'll first show you the presentation.
The Korean house played at home, presenting this tire to the Seoul Design Innovation Day, also showing it in action. And it's not just about the shape of a wheel, but its functions. The total autonomy of what I might call an entire "motion system" allows multiple wheelbots to be put together to configure customizable vehicles.
From tire to platform
What do you need? A city pod, a transport truck, a roadster? Different aspects, to be built starting from the number of wheelbots. Robotic wheel systems like this, or like those studied by Citroen they can create a future of "tailor-made" vehicles, built for the individual user and based on individual needs.
In short, an all-round service. And on the other hand it shows, right? The shape is that.