• ETC
  • Jan 4, 2013
Two designers that have already won a Red Dot concept design award for the Bevel Cup, Gao Fenglin & Zhou Buyi, have come together again on an idea called the Discolor Tyre. Understanding it couldn't be simpler: A layer of colored rubber beneath the black casing will appear when the outer tread depth falls beneath a certain amount. Fenglin and Buyi estimate that 20,000 kilometers of driving, or about 12,400 miles, will cause the colored tread to show, but there's no reason why harder rubber compounds couldn't increase that number. A side benefit is that it would also quickly reveal tears in the casing and the sources of leaks.

This isn't the first concept to use alternate hues to detect tread depth, with other ideas having already been patented. The patented Colored Wear Indicator for Tires uses not just one, but several colors to indicate how far the tread has worn down. The patent for a Vehicle Tire Tread Depth Determining System, conversely, doesn't use a fixed color, it uses an ultraviolet-sensitive layer that changes color after enough tread has worn down so that it is exposed to sunlight. We're sure there are more out there; point being that designers are already thinking about how we'll check our tires when the last car parts store closes for good... and we run out of pennies.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 79 Comments
      chops
      • 1 Year Ago
      I work for a major tire manufacturer. We looked at this years ago, but frankly the market doesn't want it; and the manufacturing issues create more problems. When the tire is cured in the press, the undertread can mold unevenly due to the tread pattern, and in tires with deep treads, I have seen sections where the undertread is molded well into the tread block. It is very difficult to mold the undertread as evenly as these guys show in their illustrations. The lack of manufacturing knowledge, the crappy translation, and illustration, shows that this is not a credible proposal.
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chops
        Thanks for the deets - nice hearing from someone with experience in the field
      Doug Nash
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not buying anything from a company that can't even letter-space correctly in their own publicity: "m-eans". Seriously?
        Anataxis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Doug Nash
        Worse: " phenominon". Really? Apparently the spell check button is too hard to press...
      Rochester
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL at the graphic used for this idea. Look at the low-profile front tire, on that nice aluminum rim with a drilled rotor and huge caliper. Now look at that ridiculous rear wheel/tire combination. If I didn't know better, I think they used a Jeep Patriot for that graphic. Igits.
      Stang70Fastback
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did they really split up the word 'means' like that?
      Tfost
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anyone else notice the lo pro tire on the front and the meaty one on the back?
      Rob
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can see drifters trying to bring the color out.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      12,500 miles on modern tires? are these for sports cars?
      Generic
      • 1 Year Ago
      It sounds like a great ideal in theory. In reality, if it took off... Tire manufactures would move the color compound higher up and the police would start writing tickets to anyone with red showing. A good safety ideal would be turned in to pinching every penny possible out of car owners in the name of profits, er.. um.. I mean safety.
        Generic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Generic
        I'd just avoid the problem by not trusting a tire manufacture to tell me and the police when it is time to buy new tires. btw, the wear marks on my snow tires are taller then the brand new tread in most summer tires. The penny head is so old school.
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Generic
        Not so...2/32 is already the minimum safe limit....even if red showed up at 5/32 (generally minimum safe level for wet/rain roads and snow tires) having tread depth over 2/32 is a valid defense against the ticket.
      RocketRed
      • 1 Year Ago
      So what. I have Conti DWS tires that do pretty much the same thing, with letters that show through. Other tires have "wear bars" than show through. Also, these tires wear out completely at 12,400 miles?!
      Mike Lin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Came to the comments section, expecting to see circle jerk discussions about why this won't work. I was not disappointed.
      sanmusa
      • 1 Year Ago
      Only 12,500 miles on a set of tires for regular passenger cars? That's not good at all.
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      The main point is that a red tread showing would be probable cause for stopping and giving a ticket for unsafe equipment. Of course, police don't stop you even now for visibly bald tires.
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