Michelin and General Motors presented a new generation of airless wheel technology—the Michelin Uptis Prototype (or “Unique Puncture-proof Tire System”)—at the Movin’On Summit for sustainable mobility in Montréal. GM intends to develop this airless wheel assembly with Michelin and aims to introduce it on passenger vehicles as early as 2024.
The Michelin Uptis Prototype combines an aluminum wheel assembly with composite rubber and proprietary innovative high-strength resin embedded fiberglass.
Later this year, GM will initiate real-world testing and validation of the Uptis Prototype on a Michigan test fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs.
The Michelin Uptis Prototype is tested on a Chevrolet Bolt EV at the General Motors Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan.
The Uptis Prototype represents a major advancement toward achieving Michelin’s VISION concept, which was presented at the Movin’On Summit in 2017 as an illustration of Michelin’s strategy for research and development in sustainable mobility. The VISION concept introduced four main pillars of innovation: airless, connected, 3D-printed and 100% sustainable (entirely renewable or bio- sourced materials).
Uptis features ground-breaking improvements in architecture and composite materials, which enable Uptis to bear the car’s weight at road-going speeds.
Airless technology makes the Uptis Prototype eliminate flats and blowouts. This means Uptis offers significant potential for reducing the use of raw materials and waste. The technology:
Reduces the number of punctured or damaged tires that are scrapped before reaching the end of their life cycle.
Reduces the use of raw materials, energy for production and emissions linked to the manufacture of spare tires and replacement tires that are no longer required.
Lasts longer by eliminating irregular wear and tear caused by over- or under-inflation.
Reduces dangers related to flats and blowouts.