Wheel-ly Radical

Goodyear Unveils Eagle-360 3D Printed Concept Tire


Designed specifically for self-driving cars, the Eagle-360 is a radical concept in future transport: a 3D printed car tire in the shape of a sphere.

After 117 years in the business, tire manufacturer Goodyear has shared a vision of the future that’s radically different. Launched at the Geneva International Motor Show, the Eagle-360 is a 3D printed car tire in the shape of a ball. According to a press release:

“The spherical, 3D printed tire highlights Goodyear’s vision for the future and presents an inspiring solution for the long-term future when autonomous driving is expected to be more mainstream.”

In a recent study by Navigant Research, by 2035 over 85 million autonomous-capable vehicles are expected to be sold annually around the world. Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer, said:

“By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road. Goodyear’s concept tires play a dual role in the future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and as testbeds for next-generation technologies.”


How Does the Goodyear Eagle-360 Work?

According to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Tech Choice Study, consumers are most concerned with ensuring safety through technology in autonomous cars, which Goodyear appear to be addressing.

Although the tire is currently purely a conceptual development, the Eagle-360 shows Goodyear’s vision for the future and is a reflection on their thought process.

The configuration of a sphere tire actually has many benefits, not just making parking a whole lot easier. The design of your tire will work by taking into account your location and driving habits.

Customization will be enabled by 3D printed tread design which Goodyear claim would be connected to the car by magnetic levitation, which suspends the tire from the car by magnetic fields.

For example, with wet roads, a sponge-like groove design would soften when wet to create deeper grooves for resistance and to keep you safe when driving.

A layer of foam under the tread ensures a lager contact patch with the road too and a smooth ride could be expected from the fluid, lateral movement created by the tires too.

It seems that Goodyear will have everything covered when it comes to autonomous cars in the future. For more information, check out the video below or visit their website.