GM & Michelin Working on Puncture-Proof Tires To Defeat Pothole Pandemonium

Pot holes are, without question, a major nuisance on Michigan roadways, but they are also life-threatening at times, and if you’re like a friend of mine, Kelly, who has had road conditions destroy multiple tires and wheels on her car in the last two years or better, it’s absolutely maddening. She and all of us might be keenly interested in new technology being introduced to the automotive world in a partnership between Michelin and General Motors.

This week, Michelin and General Motors have presented a new generation of airless wheel technology, the Michelin Uptis Prototype (or “Unique Puncture-proof Tire System”). The innovation was made public at this week’s Movin’On Summit for sustainable mobility in Montreal. GM intends to develop this airless wheel assembly with Michelin and aims to introduce it on passenger vehicles as early as 2024.

Later this year, GM will initiate real-world testing and validation of the Uptis Prototype on a Michigan test fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

Steve Kiefer is Senior Vice President of Global Purchasing & Supply Chain for General Motors. He says, “General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology.” Kiefer says, “Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.”

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Airless technology makes the Uptis Prototype eliminate flats and blowouts. This means Uptis offers significant potential for reducing the use of raw materials and waste, contributing to GM’s vision for a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion as it:

  • Reduces the number of punctured or damaged tires that are scrapped before reaching the end of their life cycle.
  • Reduces the use of raw materials, energy for production and emissions linked to the manufacture of spare tires and replacement tires that are no longer required.
  • Lasts longer by eliminating irregular wear and tear caused by over- or under-inflation.
  • Reduces dangers related to flats and blowouts.

You can find more information on the Michelin Uptis Prototype by clicking the link below:

The photo of the new Uptis technology accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of Steve Fecht for General Motors.