Continental’s eco-friendly concept tire includes a renewable tread

Many efforts are underway to reduce the environmental impact of cars, but what about the tires those cars ride on? Continental thinks it might help. Roadshow reports the company has introduced the Conti GreenConcept (yes, a concept tire) where more than half of the materials are “traceable, renewable and recycled.” You can even renew the natural rubber tread with little trouble — not a completely new idea, but refreshable treads have generally been reserved for large commercial trucks. Three renewals would be enough to ensure the material used for casing is cut in half relative to the total mileage.

About 35 percent of the materials are renewables, including dandelion rubber, silicate made from rice husk ash and a string of vegetable oils and resins. Another 17 percent is polyester yarn made from recycled PET bottles, reclaimed steel and recovered carbon black.

The design should improve the efficiency of the cars themselves, Continental added. New casing, sidewall and tread patterns make the GreenConcept about 40 percent lighter than a conventional tire at about 16.5lbs, That, in turn, leads to 25 percent lower rolling resistance than the highest-rated tires in the EU. Continental estimates you’d get six percent more range from an electric vehicle.

While you might not outfit your car with these exact tires any time soon, this is more than just a thought exercise. Continental plans to gradually deploy its recycling technology starting in 2022, including the production of tires using recycled bottles.

Efforts like the Conti GreenConcept are partly meant to burnish Continental’s public image. It wants to be the most environmentally responsible tire company by 2030, and become completely carbon-neutral by 2050 “at the latest.” However, it also hints at a more holistic approach to eco-friendly cars where many components, not just the powertrain, are kinder to the planet.

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Engadget.

#column, #green-tech, #greentech, #tc, #tceng, #tires

Pirelli puts a wireless sensor in its new tire for the McLaren Artura

The new McLaren Artura plug-in hybrid supercar will be the first production car to use tires with built-in monitoring sensors.

Enlarge / The new McLaren Artura plug-in hybrid supercar will be the first production car to use tires with built-in monitoring sensors. (credit: McLaren)

When the McLaren Artura reaches the road later this year, it will do so riding on the world’s first “Cyber Tires.” Made by Pirelli, the tires feature an evolution of the tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that are now fitted to new cars. Normally, those sensors are in a car’s wheels, but Pirelli has here embedded them in the construction of the tire, where they measure pressure, temperature, and acceleration.

That little snippet of information from the Artura press briefing left me intrigued, if a little skeptical. So I reached out to Pirelli to see if it could convince me that smart tires are a good idea.

“Now we have the technology to install at industrial level a sensor inside the tire and, most of all, integrate the sensor into the car itself,” said Piero Misani, Pirelli’s senior VP of R&D. “You can put in a sensor, you can put in an app [linked to a tire], but this is not a dialogue between the tire and the car. That is something that is a standalone system. With the McLaren Artura, we believe that we’ll be the first to fully integrate a sensor in the tire with the car’s electronics.”

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#cars, #cyber-tire, #mclaren-artura, #pirelli, #tire-pressure-monitoring-system, #tires

For Chakaia Booker, Whose Medium Is Tires, the Art Is in the Journey

First things first: “I sculpt myself every day,” says Booker, who appears swathed in yards of textiles, from headdress to sneakers.

#allentown-pa, #art, #black-people, #booker-chakaia, #content-type-personal-profile, #institute-of-contemporary-art-miami, #rubber, #sculpture, #tires

How one founder partnered with NASA to make tires puncture-proof and more sustainable

This week’s episode of Found features The SMART Tire Company co-founder and CEO Earl Cole, a one-time Survivor champion whose startup is working with NASA to commercialize some of its space-age tech. Cole won a NASA startup competition seeking entrepreneurs to work with its scientists and researchers on applications of innovations it created for space exploration that could work right here on Earth, helping people while also forming the basis for a commercially-viable business.

For Cole, that resulted in The SMART Tire Company, a venture that’s using tech NASA developed to create more durable, puncture-proof tires to equip future rovers. NASA turned to shape memory alloys (SMAs), which is a type of metal that can be flexed or bent, but that also has elastic properties to return to its original shape, to handle the unique task of building a tire that wouldn’t require inflation, but that would be able to handle rocky Martian terrain with aplomb. Cole’s startup is using the same technology to tackle the more than $100 billion tire industry — starting with bike tires, but eventually moving on to address other kinds of vehicles as well.

We talked to Cole about the process of working with NASA, including its challenges and what the agency has to offer in terms of unique access to cutting-edge technology. He also shared his perspective on entrepreneurship from decades of experience, including difficulties with traditional VC and access to funding, and why he chose to initially raise money for his own startup through newly-available equity crowdsourcing. Cole also told us about why being a Survivor champ (and the first unanimous winner) provides crucial lessons for not only being a founder, but also running a company and being an effective leader, too.

We had a great time chatting with Cole, and we hope you have just as much fun listening. And of course, we’d love if you can subscribe to Found in Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on Google Podcasts or in your podcast app of choice. Please leave us a review and let us know what you think, or send us directed feedback either on Twitter or via email. Come back next week for yet another great conversation with a founder all about their own unique experience of startup life.

#found, #metal, #nasa, #smart-tire-company, #startup-company, #tc, #tire, #tires

Startup founded by ‘Survivor’ champ debuts airless bike tires based on NASA rover tech

As NASA is quick to remind people, the investments it funnels towards space exploration often winds up improving life on Earth – and it’s now in the business of speeding up some of that work through startups. SMART, a startup founded in 2020, has a partnership with NASA through the Space Act Agreement and is part of the agency’s formal Startup Program that aims to commercialize some of its innovations. The young company today revealed its first product: An airless bicycle tire based on technology NASA engineers created to make future lunar and Martian rovers even more resilient.

SMART’s METL tire is the the first fruit of the startup’s work with NASA’s Glenn Research Center, where NASA engineers Dr. Santo Padula and Colin Creager first developed their so-called ‘shape memory alloy’ (SMA) technology. SMA allows for a tire constructed entirely of interconnected springs, which requires no inflation and is therefore immune to punctures, but which can still provide equivalent or better traction when compared to inflatable rubber tires, and even some built-in shock absorbing capabilities.

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center assemble the new shape memory alloy rover tire prior to testing in the Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory.

Dr. Padula and Creager’s key development was creating an alloy that can return to their shape at the molecular level, meaning they can deform to adapt to uneven terrain, including obstacles like gravel and potholes, and return to their shape without losing structural integrity over time.

SMART, which is co-founded by Survivor Fiji champion Earl Cole and engineer Brian Yennie, worked with Padula and Creager, along with former NASA intern Calvin Young, to apply the benefits of SMA to the consumer market. They’re targeting the cycling market first with their METL tire, which is set to become available to the general public by early next year. Following that, SMART intends to also pursue bring SMA tires to the automotive and commercial vehicle industries, too.

SMART's METL tire close up

Image Credits: SMART Tire Company

Already, SMART has a partnership in place with Ford-owned Spin, the bike and scooter-sharing company focused on novel micro-mobility models. SMART’s technology has the potential not only to make flat tires or under inflation a thing of the past, but could reduce cost and waste long-term by supplementing the need for rubber tires, which need frequent replacement and can be a danger to riders or drivers when used without proper pressure.

SMART is also using WeFunder to seek crowdsourced equity investment, with SAFEs currently available at an $8 million valuation cap.

#aerospace, #chemistry, #engineer, #ford, #greentech, #tc, #tire, #tires, #wefunder

How Scientists Tracked Down a Mass Killer (of Salmon)

Something was decimating the salmon that had been restored to creeks around Puget Sound.

#chemicals, #environment, #fishing-commercial, #fishing-sport, #salmon, #science-journal, #tires, #water-pollution

After Closing for the Virus, Is Michelin Moving Too Quickly?

The tire maker’s C.E.O. says the company must be ready for the end of quarantine, but French unions are wary.

#automobiles, #confederation-generale-du-travail-france, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #factories-and-manufacturing, #france, #labor-and-jobs, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #menegaux-florent, #michelin-group, #organized-labor, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #tires, #workplace-hazards-and-violations