Goodyear’s new Aero concept tire transforms into a propellor for flying cars

Flying cars and flying taxis are closer than you think. So how will these airborne vehicles make the transition from land to air? Goodyear thinks it knows, and is showing off the Aero — a tire than will be able to  both run vertically as a tire and horizontally as a propeller — at the Geneva International Auto Show this week.

The propeller blades serve a dual purpose; as the necessary support for the weight of the car, and as a source of lift for the car when the driver wishes to go airborne.

“With mobility companies looking to the sky for the answer to the challenges of urban transport and congestion, our work on advanced tire architectures and materials led us to imagine a wheel that could serve both as a traditional tire on the road and as a propulsion system in the sky,” Goodyear Chief Technology Officer Chris Helsel says.

The Aero isn’t an inflatable tire of the type we use today. Instead, Goodyear envisions using new flexible materials it has developed to absorb road shock, but be able to also deal with the added stresses on the tire material as it transitions from the horizontal to the vertical.

The technical term for this is non-pneumatic structure, and is something that is already used in small vehicles. However only recently have tire manufacturers gotten to the point where it can support the much heavier weight of a full-sized vehicle.

Goodyear also says it envisions the tire being used as part of a magnetic propulsion system versus today’s mechanical propulsion systems, and the company also plans to include artificial intelligence within the tire to monitor road conditions and tire wear. This A.I. could also be used for vehicle-to-vehicle communication, something that the auto industry is already working towards thanks to 5G.

While much of this sounds super futuristic, Goodyear is working on many of these technologies right now. The airless tire design and the intelligence within the tire itself are features already in development, and may appear in Goodyear tires in the not-too-distant future. But the company does admit that the Aero is purely conceptual, and may be for awhile.

“Goodyear’s concepts are meant to trigger a debate on the tires and transport technologies for a new mobility ecosystem,” Helsel says.

Cars

Kia’s HabaNiro concept is an autonomous, electric car that knows when you’re sad

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Kia HabaNiro concept is supposed to preview the future of the everyday car. That future will include artificial intelligence tech that can read the driver's emotions, according to Kia.
Cars

2020 Nissan 370Z Special Edition celebrates 50 Years of the Z car

Nissan is celebrating 50 years of its iconic "Z car" with a special edition of the 2020 370Z. The 50th-anniversary model is dressed to look like a 1970s race car, but remains technically unchanged.
Emerging Tech

Sweden is building a road that recharges electric buses that drive over it

The Swedish transport administration is exploring special roads which will charge vehicles’ batteries as they drive over them. It will test the idea with a short sample stretch of road.
Cars

Karma Automotive unveils two head-turning concept cars, quicker 2020 Revero GT

Karma Automotive brought three new cars to the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, including a long overdue redesigned version of its Revero plug-in hybrid, an all-electric concept car, and a concept coupe designed in concert with legendary Italian…
Emerging Tech

Pepsi, StartRocket team up to launch satellites for energy drink ad in night sky

Pepsi is working with StartRocket to launch an energy drink advertisement into the night sky using miniature satellites. The Russian startup is looking to send its system into orbit in 2021.
Emerging Tech

Public vote opens for new planet name, but Planet McPlanetface won’t fly

The largest unnamed world in our solar system needs an official title, and you can help choose it. The scientists who discovered the icy planetoid recently announced details of a public vote offering three choices.
Emerging Tech

How MIT hacked horticulture to cultivate a hyper-flavorful basil plant

At MIT, Caleb Harper used his personal food computers to alter the climate in which he grew basil. Exposing it light for 24 hours a day changed the flavor profile of the plant, making it spicier and stronger.
Emerging Tech

Watch the fearsome DroneHunter X3 pluck rogue UAVs out of the sky

How do you stop enemy drones in their tracks? DroneHunter X3 is a new autonomous anti-drone technology which outruns and then captures rogue drones in midair. Check it out in action.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX’s main Falcon Heavy booster is lost at sea after falling off drone ship

SpaceX has lost the center core of its Falcon Heavy rocket after a successful mission last week that ended with it landing on a drone ship. SpaceX said rough seas resulted in the rocket toppling over and falling into the ocean.
Emerging Tech

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a world-first by 3D printing a small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers. Here's why that's so exciting.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.