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Throw away the tire pressure gauge! Goodyear is testing self-inflating tires

You’d be surprised to find how big a difference a little tire maintenance makes, when it comes to safety and fuel economy. What won’t be as shocking is how often simple things like checking your tire pressure is neglected.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has long been working on a system of self inflating tires, and has recently announced that it’s moving on a new testing phase of this technology. Dubbed “Air Maintenance Technology,” the project, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, kicks off an 18-month period of test with U.S. and Canada-based trucking fleets.

Goodyear AMT Tire Graphic

According to Goodyear, the AMT tech utilizes peristaltic pump technology to automatically maintain tire pressure at fleets’ desired levels, so drivers can set the tire pressure they want, and hit the nations highways without a second thought. With tires being automatically maintained at optimum level, fuel economy improves as does tire life, so fleets save a hefty chunk of change with AMT.

Research into what this technology could mean for commercial vehicle implementation yielded some surprising data: only 44 percent of all truck tires are within 5 pounds per square inch of their target pressure, and seven percent are underinflated by 20 psi or more. The last thing we need are trucks driving down the highway with tires ready to fail.

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So what does this mean for us who, presumably, don’t manage a convoy? For starters, we can see the same savings come our way when it comes to fuel economy and tire degradation. Also, less tire wear would result in fewer accidents per year, so there’s more than simply wallet-related benefits to reap.

The DOE’s office of Vehicle Technology as already contributed $1.5 Million to Goodyear’s research and have been keeping tabs as recent as this September to keep tabs on AMT’s progress.