Posted by Adam Phillips | Jan 8, 2023 | CES, Motoring
The SMART Tire Company is using CES 2023 to literally re-invent the wheel! It’s been a long time since NASA needed to find tyres for a Moon buggy – 1972, in fact – but with the announcement of the 2025 Artemis project and the exploration of the lunar South Pole, NASA needed a new set of wheels. Enter The SMART (Shape Memory Alloy Radial Technology) Tire Company! Radial Agricultural Tires
Using developments directly related to the unique needs of both lunar and Mars explorer vehicles, The SMART Tire Company was formed for the express purpose of commercialising a new type of tyre – airless. Using a special blend of alloy, boffins at NASA have created an airless tyre that can carry heavy loads over all types of terrain. The secret is the “shape memory alloy” that gives the feel and appearance of thin steel wire but the elasticity of rubber. If I didn’t see it and feel it stretch with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it possible. Thin strands of this stuff can be pulled, bent, twisted and folded and it will always bounce back to its original shape. It is magical stuff!
So, what’s the point of Moon tyres on Earth? Well, Hyundai and Kia see some benefits. They have created a collaboration with SMART Tires and see the new airless technology as having an important place in their race to claim 12% of the global electric vehicle market by 2030. These things are strong and light and remove the need for a spare in the boot – perfect for an EV.
Further still, in the bicycle space, SMART Tires are promising that you will never again have a flat tyre on your pushy. In fact, you will only ever have one set of tyres for the life of the bike – SMART Tires. Not convinced? Felt Bicycles are convinced! They have entered into a partnership with The SMART Tire company and are promising production ready tyres soon.
Super tough and ultra light tyres that never go flat? Sign me up!
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Tractor Tire Tube Adam - or Flipsy as he's known to Trev - is one of Trev's best mates going back to high-school. He knows more about cars than many would care to imagine so he's the perfect fit to find the whacky, innovative and new stories about and around cars at CES in Las Vegas.