ROME – Tire that is not a tire – because it does not have an inner tube – to be used for cars that are not cars because they are simply robots. The new NPT (this is the first name) is created by Goodyear, while Starship Technologies, a company in the portfolio of Goodyear Ventures, is the one who commands the army of 1000 autonomous robots that transport and deliver packages, groceries and food covering last mile deliveries. Starship therefore needed a tire on which no particular maintenance was required, and which was able to guarantee a longer life than the others. No sooner said than done.
Not only has the project caught on, but it has now entered the delicate testing phase at Bowling Green State University, where the interdependencies between vehicle and tire are assessed. In other words: if there is the right feeling between rubber and robot. The first tests have provided positive signs, both in terms of tread wear and in terms of braking and vibration damping.
“We are thrilled to extend our unique tire solutions to new forms of mobility,” explains Michael Rachita, senior director of Goodyear’s tubeless tire program. “The micro-delivery industry has a number of different tire needs and our NPT technology is ideal for meeting them and enabling a long-lasting, low-maintenance operation.”
“Our delivery robots make thousands of deliveries every day in all kinds of weather and terrain conditions,” added Siim Viilup, Head of Mechanical Engineering at Starship Technologies. “To make sure we can keep up with the growing demand for our services, we need tires that are reliable and that keep our robots moving around the clock and around the world. It’s interesting to see how these new tires deliver. reliability and cost savings with the progressive increase of our business “.
But that is not all. Goodyear also announced that it has made a demonstration tire with 70% low environmental impact materials, which includes industry-leading innovations. “In 2020, we had set ourselves the ambitious goal of creating a tire made from 100% sustainable materials in 10 years and our scientists and engineers have made great progress towards this milestone,” said Chris Helsel, Senior Vice President of Global Operations and Director of technology. “It’s an exciting result, which confirms our commitment to increasing the use of sustainable materials in our tires.”