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Say goodbye to loud compressors, leaky hoses and inaccurate tire gauges. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, one of the world's largest tire maufacturers, has developed a system which will allow tires to self-inflate automatically. Goodyear's so-called Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) is completely self-contained, without any need for external pumps or electronics, says the tire maker. "While the technology is complex, the idea behind the AMT system is relatively simple and powered by the tire itself as it rolls down the road," said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer.

Tires kept at optimal operating pressure deliver lower emissions, longer tire life, enhanced safety and improved vehicle performance, says Goodyear. Government research indicates that underinflated tires result in a 2.5 percent to 3.3 percent decrease in fuel mileage - that's about 12 cents per gallon at the pump.

Goodyear has not provided any costs or an estimate when the technology will become available to the public, but it has received grants from the United States Department of Energy's Office of Vehicle Technology to help further development.
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New Goodyear Innovation Could Make Tire Pumps Obsolete
Government Grants to Help Quicken Development

AKRON, Ohio, August 11, 2011 – The days of manually adding air to under-inflated tires could be a distant memory thanks to a new innovation under development in laboratories at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Keeping tires properly inflated doesn't just eliminate the practice of checking a tire's air pressure and finding a tire pump and gauge that works. It also can mean real savings at the fuel pump.

Whether you drive a passenger vehicle or a commercial truck, underinflated tires result in between a 2.5 percent and 3.3 percent decrease in fuel mileage, according to government and industry research. At today's prices, that translates to about 12 cents per gallon at the pump.

Properly inflated tires also result in lower emissions, longer tire life, enhanced safety and improved vehicle performance.

Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology (AMT), will enable tires to remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps or electronics. All components of the AMT system, including the miniaturized pump, will be fully contained within the tire.

"While the technology is complex, the idea behind the AMT system is relatively simple and powered by the tire itself as it rolls down the road," said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer.

"A tire that can maintain its own inflation is something drivers have wanted for many years. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging," said Kihn. "This will become the kind of technological breakthrough that people will wonder how they ever lived without."

Goodyear did not provide an estimate as to when this technology would be available at tire retailers, but said the timetable would be accelerated due to recent government research grants in United States and European Union.

The United States Department of Energy's Office of Vehicle Technology Wednesday announced it has awarded a $1.5 million grant for research, development and demonstration of the AMT system for commercial truck tires. The grant will be administered by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and work will be conducted at Goodyear's Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio.

In July, Goodyear successfully applied for a grant from the Luxemburg government for research and development of an AMT system for consumer tires. That work will be conducted at Goodyear's Innovation Center in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg.

"While similar in concept, there are significant differences in AMT systems for consumer and commercial tires," said Kihn. "The tangible support from both the U.S. and Luxembourg governments underscores the value of these projects and the many positive benefits they can provide drivers around the world."

In addition, The DOE's Office of Vehicle Technology today also announced that it will award a $1.5 million grant for a joint project between PPG Industries and Goodyear to improve the rolling resistance and fuel efficiency of tires. The project's objective is to increase average fuel efficiency of passenger vehicle fleets through use of new tread and inner liner technologies.

"Advanced technologies that are invisible to the human eye – like those we are working on with PPG – will help to dramatically improve fuel efficiency of tires while maintaining other important qualities such as traction and tread-life," said Kihn.

Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs approximately 73,000 people and manufactures its products in 54 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      They already have truck tires that do this.
      Richard Nygaard
      • 3 Years Ago
      Some of you complainers are so funny, mad at the world. Anyways, yes this is a great idea and a time saver. We should want this because it saves timme wich in turn increases productivity. If my tires are always inflated then I can spend that time I was going to waste checking my tire pressure on something else. Anyone who thinks this idea is stupid, is stupid. Its called progress.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If only there were some kind of invention that the car owner could attached to the valve stem and check the tire pressure every couple months. Im sure this could be done, but I have to imagine that a "tire pressure checking gauge" could be incredible expensive and complicated to use.
        Andre Neves
        • 3 Years Ago
        Over here in the United States of the Fat Lazy Americans, we need the government to watch over us and nanny our lives so we can live their American dream.
      • 3 Years Ago
      No thanks. They seem to be taking every fun thing out of driving a car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      'Murcans have become too stupid/lazy to do even the most simple auto maintenance. I worked on Goodyear advertising for 6 years and spent many hours with engineering staff in Akron. Facts: 40% of U.S. vehicles have at least one underinflated tire. Most U.S. drivers do not check tire pressure on a regular basis. At best, underinflation wastes fuel and at worst, it's a blowout waiting to happen. I'm all for this tech if it helps protect me from the morons sailing down the expressway @ 80 on a nearly flat tire. I see it all too often.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Like the suburbanites in the infamous Explorers that rolled over because the drivers didn't check tire pressures and then drove in 95 deg summer days at 80 mph.
      50 AKA Ferrari
      • 3 Years Ago
      And who wants to be the first to file lawsuit when you have a blowout on the highway....
      • 3 Years Ago
      But fifty pounds each didn't help the cornering, so I swent back a few hours later and told him I wanted to try seventy five. He shook his head nervously. "Not me," he said, handing me the air hgose. "Here. They're your tires. You do it." "What's wrong?" I asked. "You think they can't take seventy-five?" He nodded, moving away as I stooped to deal with the left front. "You're damn right," he said. "Those tires want twenty eight in the front and thirty two in the rear. Hell, fifty's dangerous, but seventy five is crazy. They'll explode!" I shook my head and kept filling the left front. "I told you," I said, "Sandoz laboratories designed these tires. They're special. I could load them up to a hundred". hunter s thompson, fear and lathing in las vegas
      Mr. Sunshine
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why are so many people critical of this technology? You don't have to use it. But it might be good for your grandma or clueless teenage son.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mr. Sunshine
        Clueless teenage son??? sounds like lazy parenting. Both of my sons knew all the basics BEFORE they even got there licences.
          • 3 Years Ago
          "Their licences." My parents taught me to speak English before letting me loose on the internet.
          • 3 Years Ago
          These days, there is a lot of lazy parenting going on.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's great. If you don't know how to pump your tires...
        • 3 Years Ago
        You'd be surprised how many people out there don't know how to do it.
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why are they always trying to find more ways to increase the price of a simple tire change!? First came damned run-flat tires(which suck IMO) which are considerably more expensive to replace. And they seem alot more prone to punctures & bubbles than normal tires are. Then cam TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring system. Every time you change your tires, it's recommended to change all the sensors. Which means, spending a minimum of $200 for the sensors on top of the price of the tires and then you still have to go to the dealer and spend another chunk of money getting them reprogrammed. Not to mention how much this raises insurance premiums because of cost to replace systems like these in the even of a collision/accident. What I'm wondering now, is how long until this is mandated by the government? Anyone? I say 2 years tops.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Without reading all the posts, this idea will suck energy from the vehicle to power the tire's internal compression algorithm...depending on the CFM the tire internals can generate it ought to be possible to calculate the power drain. Just check your tires once a week....sheesh.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So what's next? An instrument panel with only 2 lights... green if your car is good to 'go', and red if 'no go'? Might as well insulate the driver from the complexity of reading all those analog/digital doo-hickeys. Who needs to see the rpms anyway? What use does the speedometer serve? Nothing! Look, it's simple. Green instrument panel light = you're good, keep pressing the gas pedal Red instrument panel light = you're no good, stop pressing the gas pedal or you might suffer an accident, get pulled over, run out of gas, or your car might be experiencing some kind of malfunction
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