Modern tires are designed to be used and discarded. Once a tire is worn out, it can't be refurbished. The Goodyear ReCharge concept shows one possible way to increase the longevity of tires, and allow them to adapt to different conditions.
Goodyear calls the ReCharge a "self-regenerating" tire concept. The tire uses a biodegradable tread compound that can be replenished with special capsules. So instead of replacing the whole tire, you just replace the tread.
The tread compound is made from "biological material" reinforced with fibers based on spider silk, according to Goodyear. That ensures both durability and sustainability, since the material is biodegradable.
In addition to being easily replaceable, the tread compound is also highly adaptable; it can be adjusted based on climate or road conditions. Artificial intelligence can be used to create a driver profile, allowing the compound to be customized for individual users, Goodyear said of its concept.
The rest of the ReCharge concept tire consists of a non-pneumatic frame with a tall-and-narrow shape. By going with an airless design, it means drivers won't have to worry about maintaining tire pressures or fixing punctures.
Concept tires are becoming as numerous as concept cars. Goodyear alone has made tires that can shape shift and clean the air as they roll along, or act as propellors for flying cars. As with many concept cars, though, these tires may never see production. Goodyear didn't mention any production plans for the ReCharge and, even if it did get the green light, it's unclear if the tire's design could be mass produced.