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GM Partners With Michelin On Airless Tire


General Motors and tire manufacturer Michelin are in a new partnership on a prototype of a radical new type of wheel designed to replace the conventional pneumatic tires and wheels that automakers have relied on for more than a century.

Airless wheels have been a dream for tire manufacturers and automakers alike and offer a number of potential advantages, officials from GM and Michelin noted during a news conference in Montreal. The French company has been working on a concept, dubbed the tweel, for several years and is finally looking at producing it for the mass market under the brand name Uptis, GM and Michelin officials said Tuesday.

“This moves us to the next level of development,” said Steve Kiefer, GM’s global purchasing chief. He said it’s targeted for production by 2024.

Michelin's new Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System (Uptis) does away with one of the defining aspects of tires as we've known them for more than 100 years: the air inside. Unlike past attempts at airless tires, Uptis functions the way other modern tires do and, Michelin claims, will provide a similar driving experience.

Unveiled at the company's sustainable-mobility-focused Movin'On Summit in Montreal today, Uptis is a tire without a traditional sidewall that carries its load by the top thanks to a new resin-embedded fiberglass material that Michelin was granted over 50 patents for.

According to reports, "The idea was to develop a technology that was strong enough to carry the load but light enough to replace the air,"










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