Bringing new meaning to the term flat tire, the Japanese company shows a second-generation prototype of its airless tires at the Paris Motor Show.
PARIS -- Maybe it's time to move beyond those donut-shaped balloons that connect our cars to the road.
At the Paris Motor Show here, Bridgestone showed off a second-generation prototype of its Air Free tire, which replaces conventional tires' cushion of air with an array of shock-absorbing resin bands that resemble thick, angled spokes. The outside of the airless tire is coated with a replaceable tread made of a thin band of solid rubber.
Why mess with the proven design of tires? Of course, there's no such thing as a flat tire, but the main reason is to improve recyclability compared to conventional tires, said Olivier Monbet, leader of Bridgestone's technical department for France and Benelux.
"Every part of this tire is recyclable," Monbet said.