Airless tires are no mystery. These things have been in the works for over 2 decades and have been fitted in various things, from wheelbarrows to heavy machinery. But one type of vehicle they haven’t been a part of is the general mass-used cars. Now, companies like Toyo Tires are trying to get these airless tires to EVs as soon as possible. Dubbed ‘NoAir’, these airless tires will change the game for EVs and cars in general, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.
The Importance of Airless Tires
Airless tires are the next step into the future of cars, regardless of whether a company manufactures EVs or not. One of the most obvious benefits is that this car would never run out of air, never get punctured, and you would never get a flat. These tires will be a no-maintenance addition to your car. Not only that, Toyo’s latest product will be more energy and fuel efficient for all vehicles. These tires also rely on foam inserts, which helps in reducing rubber consumption, according to Toyo.
Airless Tires and EVs
Airless tires are especially important for EVs as these cars run on batteries. A consistent tire means more cruising range since it won’t go flat or get slow. When the tires become flat, the car needs to expend more energy to keep the car moving. According to the US Department of Energy, around 4-11% of the total energy in internal-combustion-engine vehicles is used in overcoming the rolling resistance when the tire loses air. For EVs, this number can be as high as 25%. According to Toyo, making the correct airless tire for EVs can be challenging as these cars are comparatively heavier. If the correct tire is made for these, they can lead to a net gain of 3 percent energy efficiency in EVs.
Toyo’s first target market, after beginning production, is Japan, and that too is only for small EVs. But, launching in Japan has its own challenges. Japanese safety standards are strict, are based on conventional tires, and do not allow airless tires on public roads. To get around this, Toyo will first sell vehicles used on private properties, like golf carts. Hopefully, as Japanese automakers add more and more EVs to their lineups, the Japanese government will modify their rules accordingly to allow for airless tires on public roads. Otherwise, the future of EVs in Japan looks bleak and might need some pumping to sustain.
It’s no secret that the car world is embracing new technology on a daily basis. It seems as though every new car comes with a nifty little feature that the one before was missing, and while some of these features don’t get as much use as they possibly could, there are others that change the way that we drive. This is certainly the case for the new Mercedes E-Class steering wheel.
Over the years, car software has improved dramatically. New tech has allowed drivers to feel safe in their cars, thanks to parking sensors, in-built GPS systems, speed controllers, and even sensors that tell you when you’re driving too close to the lines. Yes, these driver assistance systems are great, but sometimes they can get pretty annoying. This is especially true when it comes to steering wheel additions.
Keeping Your Hands On The Wheel
There are many cars out there that have tech built into the steering wheel, to ensure that you are driving safely at all times. While this is a great addition to have, it does cause people a nuisance every now and then. For example, if you are driving along a straight stretch of road for a while, this assistance system will kick in and ask you to wiggle the steering wheel to ensure that you are still driving. Thankfully, the new Mercedes E-Class has changed this feature.
Knowing Your Moves
In fact, the new feature on the upgraded E-Class means that you don’t have to do any strange wiggles at all. That’s because this wheel comes complete with two-zone sensors that are able to detect whether you are holding it or not based on your touch, rather than your movement. As long as your hands are on the wheel – as they should be – you should have no problems at all.
This new feature is definitely something we hope we’ll be seeing more of.