Michelin and General Motors have collaborated to roll out a new generation of airless wheel technology - Michelin Uptis Prototype for passenger vehicles. Michelin and GM are testing the Uptis Prototype on Chevrolet Bolt EV and plan to initiate real-world testing of Uptis on a test fleet of Bolt EV vehicles in Michigan. The joint research agreement under which the companies intend to validate the Uptis prototype to introduce Uptis on passenger models as early as 2024, stated the company.
Uptis features improvements in architecture and composite materials, which enable Uptis to bear the car’s weight at road-going speeds. These innovations combine to eliminate compressed air to support the vehicle’s load, and result in environmental savings: approximately 200 million tires worldwide are scrapped prematurely every year as a result of punctures, damage from road hazards or improper air pressure that causes uneven wear. The Uptis Prototype represents Michelin’s VISION concept, which was presented at the Movin’On Summit in 2017 as an illustration of Michelin’s strategy for research and development in sustainable mobility. The VISION concept introduced four main pillars of innovation: airless, connected, 3D-printed and 100% sustainable (entirely renewable or biosourced materials).
Florent Menegaux, Chief Executive Officer, Michelin Group, said through work with strategic partners like GM, who share our ambitions for transforming mobility, Michelin can seize the future today.
Steve Kiefer, Senior Vice President, Global purchasing and supply chain, General Motors, said Uptis is an example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.