We’ve been promised airless, puncture-proof tires for-bloody-ever by this point. But pump-haters, your time is arriving: starting next week, a factory in Piedmont, SC is going to start pumping them out.
Named the Tweel, Michelin’s invention in an all-in-one wheel and tire: deforming resin spokes provide the give that air would have previously, and an outer tread gives the same grip as rubber. The benefits are pretty obvious: no air means no pesky punctures, and the slight deformity means the wheel rolls over bumps more smoothly.
There’s still no general availability or pricing, but Michelin’s currently running a limited trial with skid steer loaders and tractors and opening an entire factory dedicated to producing the Tweel obviously means that it’s not a complete bust. Whether or not you’ll be decking your truck out with Tweels in the near future remains to be seen, though. [Autoblog]