Michelin’s puncture-proof airless tire concept is finally tested in public

It’s supposed to come out in 2024
by Drei Laurel | Oct 11, 2021
PHOTO: Michelin

Remember the neat airless tire concept Michelin came up with back in 2019? It was called the Uptis—that’s short for Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System—and it’s supposed to revolutionize the tire industry when it hits the market in 2024. Well, it’s just been unveiled to the public, and the initial reception is apparently positive.

In a statement, company technical and scientific communications director Cyrille Roget said visitors at this year’s International Automobile Exposition (IAA) in Munich, Germany were very welcome to the concept.

“The truly distinctive structure of the Michelin Uptis prototype, or its ‘weirdness’ as we have often heard it called, really attracted the attention of many visitors and left a lasting impression on them,” Roget said.

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While Roget acknowledged that some visitors were wary of the new tech at first, they concluded that the ride of a vehicle running on Uptis tires felt no different to that of a car equipped with conventional ones.

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The Michelin Uptis is made from a combination of composite rubber and resin-embedded fiberglass. Its unique structure allows it to support the weight of a vehicle without the need for air.

Promotional car of Michelin using their latest tire technology

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Besides the obvious benefit of added durability, these tires are supposedly more eco-friendly to run, too. According to Michelin, the use of airless tires like the Uptis can have a positive impact on the environment as the company estimates around 200 million tires every year are scrapped because of punctures and rapid pressure loss.

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It’s going to be a while before any word regarding how much the Michelin Uptis tires costs gets out. Motoring without the risk of running into a flat, though? We think it’s safe to assume there’ll be a ton of car owners willing to pay a premium for that. Agree? You can also check out the Uptis in action by watching the video below:

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PHOTO: Michelin
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