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Goodyear has developed a non-pneumatic (airless) tire (NPT) and wheel assembly to support autonomous vehicle transportation in a city setting for in-field use with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA). The company says for the past three years, Goodyear and Local Motors have tested an Olli shuttle supported by the NPT at Goodyear testing facilities and other locations reaching several performance targets with respect to load, speed and durability.
According to the company, In 2019, Goodyear pivoted its NPT concentration to on-road testing and a growing relationship with Local Motors. While this testing phase will reveal more about non-pneumatic tires, airless tires may offer sustainable, maintenance-free and longer-lasting options. The urban transportation environment provides an ideal testing scenario for the alternative tire architecture given its lower speed and less variable travel paths, Goodyear says.
Goodyear and Local Motors will gather experiential data from the JTA, looking for viewpoints on ride comfort, noise and other variables, according to the company.