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The Tire Technology of the Year award, handed out at the Tire Technology Expo in Hamburg, Germany, has been awarded to the creators of the Self-Inflating Tire at Coda Development.
While "self-inflating" tires aren't new to the market (especially in the commercial industry), nearly all of the existing systems utilize compressed air to inflate or maintain tire pressure. This requires a compressor or reservoir tank to feed air to the tires. Coda's "SIT" system uses a peristaltic pump built directly into the tire that uses the spinning wheel to force air through a liquid-filled tube to maintain pressure at a set level. Designed to aid fuel economy and improve safety, the SIT system claims to maintain a constant inflation pressure over the lifetime of the tire. Simple, lightweight, inexpensive, and not requiring any power source, we liked the idea last year. Twelve months later, and now with an award under its belt, we think it's time to get the SIT system rolling. Press release after the jump, gallery below.


The Self Inflating Tire (SIT), a new invention of Coda Development, has scooped the prestigious Tire Technology of the Year award at the Tire Technology Awards for Innovation and Excellence 2009, which were presented at Tire Technology Expo yesterday (February 18, 2009) in Hamburg, Germany.

Coda Development's Self Inflating Tire system is primarily designed to aid fuel economy and safety. As well as benefiting drivers through the elimination of unpopular pressure checks and inconvenient tire inflation, it helps to address the serious drawbacks of incorrect tire pressure.

SIT is an integral tire feature that uses atmospheric air to inflate the tire automatically when a vehicle is in motion, compensating for natural loss of pressure, and ensuring maintenance-free, constant tire pressure over the lifetime of the tire.

"It's a fantastic, beneficial technology, yet remains a simple, inexpensive solution designed to be manufacturer-friendly," says Adam Gavine, editor of Tire Technology International. "Production costs for incorporating this component will increase only marginally compared to regular tires, but the benefits the technology provides are considerable."

Coda Development, which is based in Prague, Czech Republic, plans to develop the system further into a proven production model in joint cooperation with partners from the automotive and tire industries.

The Awards

The awards are organized in association with Tire Technology International magazine, which is published by UKIP Media & Events, sponsor of this year's Gala Dinner and awards ceremony.

The five categories are:

• Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year
• Environmental Achievement of the Year
• Tire Technology of the Year
• Tire Industry Supplier of the Year
• Manufacturer of the Year

VMI won the award for Tire Manufacturing and Design Innovation for its MAXX technology, a tire-building machine that operates quite differently to other technology. The device is a two-drum machine for radial car tires that works according to the single-stage building process. It combines a high level of flexibility with a substantially higher output and a better green tire quality, and can build tires in rim sizes from 13in to 24in.

The award for Environmental Achievement went to Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), which has embarked upon an ambitious medium-term strategy to start selling tires that include no petrochemical materials by 2013. In addition to their green ingredients, the tires will have optimal rolling-resistance characteristics. In 2008, SRI launched tires in which petrochemicals account for a mere 3% of raw materials, compared with 56% for its ordinary tire ranges. The remaining 97% consists of oil-free materials such as steel wires, vegetable oil, fibers from plant cellulose, and natural rubber. The 3% of petrochemical content will be replaced with natural alternatives to create anti-aging properties.

Standards Testing Laboratories (STL) scooped the Tire Industry Supplier of the Year award. A leading independent testing facility, STL has been expanding its capabilities for the tire industry. Its latest development has been to add equipment to perform SAE J2452 or rolling resistance coast-down tests in addition to SAE J1269 single-speed tests. This work is important for meeting future international regulations, as well as stringent California legislation.

The keenly contested Manufacturer of the Year award was won by Pirelli. Research was a key motivator for Pirelli in 2008, with the aim of creating innovative materials and ecological benefits. To progress these aims, Pirelli has teamed with two respected research institutions. An agreement signed between Pirelli's Silvio Tronchetti Provera Foundation and the University of Shandong in China will result in advances in ecological tire research.

For information on Tire Technology Expo, please visit: www.tiretechnology-expo.com

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      If they cost the same prize as a normal tire or a bit more, and also last as long, why not!
        • 6 Years Ago
        So, drop tire pressure monitor from the law and put this technology to every car already.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seconded. I don't mind paying another $10 or so a tire to basically never have to check the pressure. Atleast for a street tire on the Daily Driver. Would still like to see tires, especially performance street and track tires without them, but your basic all season could do nothing but benefit from this technology.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just like Demolition Man!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The real problem is what pressure will the tire be designed to maintain?

      The artificially low pressure set by Ford on the failed Explorers? To maintain a factory-decreed ride comfort? Perhaps a simple cap/pressure relief change can do it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They better make sure the pressure is adjustable though. If it's stuck at the manufacturers rating and you can't raise/lower it for you needs, I won't buy it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i'm more interested in tire replacement designs that don't use air (or compressed gas). low tire pressure isn't much of a concern (walks around car, looks ok), it's losing a tire on the freeway/etc that is more worrysome to me (from hazards/debris)
      • 6 Years Ago
      just like the bmw 760 in tomorrow never dies!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Those would be awesome for racing if they could simply maintain a set tire pressure no matter what!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why can't I think of stuff like this.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I said the same thing about the regenerative shocks
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would def buy a set, I am sooooo lazy when it comes to keeping my tires in correct pressure..
      • 6 Years Ago
      It amazes me that in this age of high-tech cars with ABS, multiple air bags, stability control, GPS systems that talk, 100,000 miles between tune-ups, etc., that drivers can STILL be disabled by a flat tire.

      Seems to me that a no-flat type of tire should have been invented long ago.
      The world needs a good, flatless tire (not a flatulent tire).
        • 6 Years Ago

        Carry a spare. *Twilight Zone music plays*


        Tires still wear, though, so they will need to be replaced.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Its a business, there are probably batteries that last a life time...along with light bulbs, etc. If there was a no-flat tire, there would be no tire industry.

        I want one too, though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This isn't a no-flat tire, it just doesn't lose pressure over time. Considering that a modern tire installed on a clean rim should only have to be checked seasonally this is a small benefit. Most flats however are caused be road debris, and I doubt their special membrane will bring enough air into the tire to make up for a hole caused by a nail.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sit....good tire.
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