Last CES, Goodyear dazzled the assembled crowds with a protype tire that derived some 70 percent of its recipe from sustainable sources. This CES, Goodyear is back with an impressive iterative improvement — 90 percent sustainable materials will go into this one! A full 20 percent more sustainment, huzzah!
Goodyear reports that the 90-percent blend has already undergone — and passed — DoT testing, making it approved for road use. The company is still working with its supply chain partners to secure sufficient precursor materials to produce them at commercial scale and hopes to devise a fully sustainable blend by 2030.
In addition to their diminished carbon footprint, the 90 percent tires reportedly offer a lower rolling resistance than the company's test reference tires, which translates into better gas mileage and longer EV ranges. The new materials include four different types of carbon black produced from both organic and inorganic sources, soybean oil and rice husk silica, post-consumer polyester and bio-renewable pine tar resins.
"Last January, we announced a 70% sustainable-material tire, and while we celebrated this accomplishment, we knew it set the foundation for us to continue to push forward,” said Chris Helsel, senior vice president, global operations and chief technology officer. “Over the past year, we researched new technologies, identified opportunities for further collaboration and utilized our team’s ingenuity and tenacity to achieve this tremendous accomplishment, increasing the sustainable-material content used in a tire by 20 percentage points."
Thanks to a partnership with Gatik, the Goodyear tires of tomorrow will be a bit intelligent as well. The tiremaker announced its coordination with the B2B logistics company to develop a proof-of-concept technology, dubbed SightLine, that "can accurately estimate tire-road friction potential and provide real-time information to Gatik’s automated driving system (ADS)," according to a company release Wednesday.
The two companies recently, successfully trialed the grip-sensing system in Toronto. Data from the tire sensors is combined with that from other vehicle systems — such as tire wear state, load, inflation pressure and temperature — and fed into "Goodyear's cloud-based proprietary algorithms" where they jiggle and cajole the information into friction estimates that help the onboard systems detect "low grip" conditions. Those estimates can then be shared with the rest of the local Gatik autonomous vehicle fleet. Whether this technology, either the sensing system or sustainable tires, moves forward remains to be seen.