Check Out These Airless Tire Prototypes

June 6, 2019

No air? No problem for this prototype tire and wheel combo.

June 6, 2019—Michelin and General Motors unveiled a set of airless tires that will undergo testing in Michigan.

The tires are called Uptis, which roughly represents "unique puncture-proof tire system, according to a press release from GM. 

“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology,” said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, in the release. “Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.”

The goal is to eliminate flat tires and blowouts by sidestepping the compressed-air model altogether. That in turn reduces the number of tires that hit the scrapyard before the end of their expected life span due to blowouts, the company said. 

Promotional materials from Michelin say that the Uptis system includes an aluminum wheel assembly. The tire itself is made of a composite rubber and "proprietary innovative high-strength resin embedded fiberglass."

GM will test the tires on a fleet of Chevrolet Bolts.

Photo: GM