Purely a future concept, Goodyear unveiled a very unusual tyre, the Eagle-360, at the Geneva International Motor Show. The spherical, 3-D printed tyre is aimed at the long-term future when autonomous driving is expected to be more mainstream.
The spherical shape allows for ultimate manoeuvrability. The multi-orientation tyres move in all directions, which it’s hoped will contribute to passenger safety. The lateral movement would help the car to overtake an obstacle without changing its driving direction and parking in a tight spot will be easier because the tyres can rotate 360 degrees.
The tyres are to be connected to the body of the car via magnetic levitation. In other words, they would be suspended from the car by magnetic fields, similar to magnetic levitation trains.
Sensors inside the Eagle-360 concept tyre register the road conditions, including weather and road surface conditions, and communicate this information to the car as well as to other vehicles to enhance safety.