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Future Airless Tires

AriLea

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So I found this article in NewAtlas magazine.

The interesting part that could affect Autocycle Trikes is this;

"Their internal spokes are hugely tunable to meet desired performance characteristics. You can individually tune their stiffness under acceleration, braking, cornering and bump handling forces. The bump handling characteristics can even be tuned to eliminate the need for separate suspension in some types of vehicles."

It is a far cry to ask that a tire be special built for a light weight autocycle. But such a wheel would be a game changer if suspensions could be eliminated.
For me the big attraction is efficient transportation, and vehicle weight is a huge part of that.

In a single or two seat tadpole trike the suspension is a high percentage of the fully loaded weight.
And as you eliminate some item of weight, you can loose additional weight in structure and drive components that support it. If the vehicle is electric, you need less battery, and that reduction has the same effect, so it adds up.

So an ICE drive trike, reducing from full suspension and 1200cc, could go from 1200lbs(600kg), down to 350cc and 600lbs(300kg). That might be possible.
Possibly a higher reduction could happen for the equivalent EV drive autocycle, say from 1600lbs(800kg) down to 700lbs(350kg).

Eliminating suspension would also enable tighter and smoother geometry for better aerodynamics, which requires less power, and that also reduces weight, if applied to that purpose.

Rationally, probably could not eliminate all suspension, but say to a minimal rubber isolation sub-frame could go a long way toward the goal of low cost, efficient solutions.

Of course there are other functions that modern suspensions provide, such as road surface compliance, so that would need to be worked out.
Maybe you would have to put up with a rougher ride, and put up with more care in your turns.
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I will point out, it might be possible to take this type of tire, put it on a lathe and shave off some width to adapt it to some autocycle applications.

But big advantages might happen if reduced suspension could be combined with hub motors. This could work to help isolate the weight of the motor from the road hugging compliance issues. And this would go farther to eliminate excess space in the body. Smaller body means smaller aerodynamic profile.
 
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AriLea

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Price-wise this is not encouraging...from Amazon...

Michelin X Tweel Turf 24X12N12 Set of Two - A-B185532TW4
....​

$929.31 ($465 each, USD)

What could the air-filled tire cost, $30 bucks?
And those are just for mowers. wow, and only 2-3 times the wear factor. You better really hate flat tires.

One other thing that is important as matched to the car, over and under steering. Pneumatic tires flex in the area of the tire patch. That adds to the sliding dynamic of a tire in a turn. At the first contact with the ground we are at one position. By the end of the contact we are flexed to another.

So is the guess that over/under steering for this tire will be different? This could be good or bad. And changes the handling dynamics.
I imagine that is one thing they have been working on. But does it really have to match how ordinary tires work?
 
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