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Airless Tires to Be Introduced at 2020 Summer Olympics

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Standard tire
Photo: The News Wheel

Bridgestone has announced plans to be the first tire maker to offer airless tires for commercial vehicles. While there’s still some time until a commercial vehicle will be equipped with these innovative tires, Bridgestone will be launching bicycle-versions of the tires for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

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Purpose of airless tires

If you opt for air-free tires, you won’t have to worry about refilling them or about the possibility of them being punctured by an obstacle in the road. According to Jon Kimpel, executive director for new mobility solutions engineering at Bridgestone, every 8,000 miles trucks have an air-related tire problem on average. As such, the airless tires could end up being big money savers for fleet operators since they theoretically won’t have to replace flat tires as often.

High-strength thermoplastic resin was recycled and utilized to create these tires, making them a more environmentally friendly option as well. Even without relying on pressurized air, the tires are also relatively strong and can support up to 5,000 pounds of weight per corner.

Bridgestone developed its first concept version of the tires all the way back in 2011, and then unveiled its second generation of the concept in 2013 during the Tokyo Motor Show. The tires have been shown to improve performance and load-bearing, while also being eco-conscious. In addition, their lower rolling resistance makes them a fuel-efficient choice.

As of now, Bridgestone is still testing its product with pilot customers and has not announced a date to launch for commercial vehicles. However, the tire maker did showcase concept air-free tires for both commercial vehicles and bicycles at the technology trade show CES this month.

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If you’re interested in checking out these airless tires, you can catch sight of smaller versions on bicycles in Tokyo during the 2020 Summer Olympics Games.