The Bulletin

Design breakthrough: Tires that deploy studs only when you need them

Posting in Transportation
Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 12.41.21.png

Nokian's concept tires reveal how spikes could be used to lessen the possibility of collisions or accidents while driving in poor weather conditions.

The Finnish firm's concept tires allow drivers to deploy metal studs wedged in the tire body in times of need; for example, when driving in snow or over ice. In order to deploy the studs, drivers need only press a button.

Despite remaining tight-lipped about the tire design -- telling Wired that the technology is "unique" and the company "do not publish any details," the publication's digging yielded some interesting clues.

A number of patents and patent applications give us a glimpse of what may be involved in the concept's tires interior. A communication system suggests that the tires and a mobile device could be linked to monitor tire pressure -- alerting a user when spikes should be deployed -- and another patent for a "coil system and voltage rectifiers for communication and inductive powering of devices inside rotating tyre of a vehicle" outlines ways for energy to be stored in the tires, for use later to aid in deployment.

Finally, a patent titled "spike for tire" outlines a "tire which has improved clawing force (ice traveling performance) and reduced weight." Reduced weight is likely to be important, especially if additional energy is used to make sure the spikes can be deployed properly.

Check out the video below for more information.

Via: Wired

Image credit: Nokian

— By on February 24, 2014, 5:02 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure