Goodyear is debuting its new Air Maintenance Technology for commercial vehicles at the upcoming 2012 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany. Researchers of the company has been working on the project over the past year, and prototype tyres have already been evaluated to confirm that the AMT’s self-inflating mechanism works.
Extensive fleet trials in real world conditions with customers are planned for 2013, and Goodyear has actually received a US$1.5 million grant from the United States Department of Energy’s Office (DOE) of Vehicle Technology to expedite the research.
“We believe the Air Maintenance Technology application for commercial vehicle tires will not only enhance the performance of the tire, but will also provide cost savings to fleet owners and operators through the extension of tire tread life and increased fuel economy,” stated Goodyear’s Chief Technical Officer, Jean-Claude Kihn.
According to Goodyear, key benefits for operators using AMT-equipped tyres include improved fuel economy, prolonged tread life, and optimized performance. Goodyear quotes research results concluding that every 10psi (69kPa) of under-inflation to your tyres adds 1% to your fuel bills. Furthermore, under-inflation of your tyres by 10% speeds up tyre wear by anywhere from 9 to 16%.
Compared to passenger cars, commercial vehicles and their tyres have to endure a greater severity of usage. Commercial vehicle tyres typically operate at a pressure of 105psi (724kPa), more than triple of what we pump into our cars, and this places greater demands to the AMT pumps. Retreading is also common among commercial vehicle tyres, and this must also be accounted for by the AMT system.