All Tires Should Self-Inflate

September 24th, 2012

Goodyear's Air Maintenance Technology

Ever since the advent of tire pressure monitoring systems, I’ve thought tires should have the capability of self-inflating. If the car can know when the pressure is low and then alert the driver, it should be able to activate a system to re-inflate while driving, too.

That bothers me every time the TPMS light illuminates on my dash, because it means I have to find my pressure checker, check all four tires, and scour my car’s crevices for lost quarters while hoping I can find a gas station with an air compressor or an open tire repair shop. That dang light has ruined more than one day.

I am grateful for the system, though, because it alerts me to possible screws stuck between the treads long before I’d think to check my air pressure. I’d rather spend an afternoon at a tire shop than stranded on a lonesome highway with a flat, that’s for sure. I just wish the tires would take care of the problem on their own.

Thanks to Goodyear, they just might.

Goodyear’s new Air Maintenance Technology system solves the problem of low air pressure by using an internal pressure regulator to determine when a tire is low. When pressure falls below a certain level, the regulator opens to allow air into a pumping tube. That tube runs around the circumference of the tire, and as the tire rolls, it squeezes the tube and forces air into the tire through an inlet.

When the tire reaches the proper pressure level, the regulator closes and the vehicle continues on its way without the driver ever having to fumble through his or her glovebox for a pressure checker and extra quarters.

For now, this technology is limited to commercial vehicles. Goodyear says implementing Air Maintenance Technology on big trucks was particularly difficult due to the higher-than-normal pressures found in large truck tires. Which must mean the technology is easier for passenger vehicles…

Which should mean we’ll start seeing self-inflating tires on our cars, we hope within the next couple of years. I can hardly wait.

Would you be willing to spend extra money for tires that always stayed properly inflated?

-tgriffith

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  1. January 15th, 2013 at 01:14 | #1

    All I can say is I couldn’t agree more lol. Remove the need for tire repair and eliminate flats with that and you’ve got yourself a golden tire lol. Maybe one day folks.

  2. Randy
    September 25th, 2012 at 10:11 | #2

    I’ll be happy to check and maintain anyone’s air in their tires four times a year and even rotate them twice for only $500. (locally, only, o course.) Sound rediculous? I’ll guarantee that you’ll pay a lot more extra for those tires.

  3. Rob
    September 24th, 2012 at 18:11 | #3

    Self inflating tires please! I tend to have really bad luck with air pressure. These would help a lot!

  4. Jim Redd
    September 24th, 2012 at 14:38 | #4

    Umm… I agree it’s pretty lazy to not check your own tire pressure and it isn’t that big a deal to put air in. Depending on what these cost, they seem like a waste of money for passenger cars. The upside… always being at ideal pressure improves mileage and reduces wear on the tire, which could save some money in the long run.

  5. Randy
    September 24th, 2012 at 10:25 | #5

    I can think of some very real defet scenarios that will cause such tires to go flat or explode suddenly, and certainly customers will think twice when considering brands like Goodyear that are already considerably more expensive than their competitors without any real added value. Would you pay $2000 for a set of tires with half the life of competitive brands just to avoid adding air a few times a year? Surely we haven’t become so lazy and incompetent we can’t bend over and put some air in the tires.

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