While plenty of people are still coming to terms with the thought of electric cars (and even autonomous cars) being the transportation of choice in the near future, there are also plenty of manufacturers and tech firms looking further out and considering a time when we are not just driving to work, but flying there too.
If you follow news about the latest concepts in mobility, you’ve likely read plenty about flying cars and know that there are, in fact, a number already available to buy and many more being tested.
Recognising that the ‘flying car’ sector, however fanciful it may seem at the moment, could have a big future, is leading manufacturers in other areas to look at how they can be a part of it.
This takes some creative thinking, and Goodyear unveiled a doozy of a concept at the Geneva International Motor Show with the AERO – a two-in-one concept tyre designed for the autonomous, flying cars of the future which would work both as a tyre for driving on the road and a ‘propeller’ for flying through the sky.
The AERO is a multimodal tilt-rotor concept that would serve both as traditional tyre on the ground and a lift and propulsion system in the air allowing commuters the freedom to move seamlessly from the road to the sky.
The concept’s spokes provide support to carry the weight of the vehicle and act as fan blades to provide lift when the tyre is tilted.
It would use light-based, fibre optic sensors to monitor road conditions, tyre wear and the structural integrity of the tyre itself, while artificial intelligence would combine information from the tyre’s sensors with data from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. This, says Goodyear, would allow the A.I. processor to recommend a course of action and identify and resolve potential tyre-related issues before they happen.
The AERO is a cracking piece of work, and though it is a purely conceptual design, Goodyear says some of the technologies used – such as a non-pneumatic structure and intelligent tyre capabilities – are being developed by the company today.