Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will begin testing its self-inflating tire system called Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) on U.S. trucking fleets in the next few months.
The tests are part of a research project supported by United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Vehicle Technology.
Since 2011, Goodyear has been developing and testing its AMT innovation, which can aid in fuel savings and carbon dioxide reductions while potentially improving tire life, casing durability and safety and eliminating need for manually inflating tires.
Goodyear says that during the next phase of testing, multiple U.S. and Canada-based trucking fleets will test AMT over the next 18 months in their normal daily operations.
“This is an important milestone in the development of AMT for the commercial trucking marketplace,” says Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear’s chief technical officer.
“The tires equipped with AMT have performed well in testing, and we are pleased that so many of our fleet customers were eager to collaborate with us in the next phase of testing.”
AMT enables tires to remain inflated at a specified cold inflation pressure without the need for any external pumps or electronics. The system utilizes peristaltic pump technology to automatically maintain tire pressure at fleets’ desired levels. All components of the AMT system, including the pump, are fully contained within the tire.
Tire-related costs are the single largest maintenance item for commercial vehicle fleet operators. Goodyear says only 44% of all truck tires are within five pounds per square inch (psi) of their target pressure, and 7% are underinflated by 20 psi or more.
Under inflation also reduces tire life. By comparison, properly inflated tires result in lower emissions, longer tire life, enhanced safety and improved vehicle performance. The AMT system for commercial tires is being designed to perform under a variety of operating conditions and through multiple retreads, according to Goodyear.
“This phase of testing will go a long way in helping us determine when we can make this technology available in the commercial tire marketplace,” says Zekoski.
The DOE’s Office of Vehicle Technology has provided a $1.5 million grant to assist in the Akron-based research, development and demonstration of the AMT system for commercial vehicle tires. Representatives from the Office of Vehicle Technology met with the Goodyear AMT team in September to review the progress on the project.
While still in development, AMT has been honored as an innovative technology by several magazines:
* Car & Driver selected AMT as one of its 10 “most promising future technologies” in December 2011;
* Popular Mechanics named AMT a 2012 Breakthrough Award winner; and
* Time magazine recognized AMT as one of the "Best Inventions of the Year 2012.”
For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.