Flexible wheels: New technology takes vehicle tires to the next level

Staff Writer | December 27, 2013

A new airless and flexible tire and wheel technology will change the way military vehicles, ATV’s and automobiles ride and negotiate terrain

(INTELLIHUB) — The design is quite interesting, the vehicle’s wheel is made up of a flexible honeycomb-like compound allowing the tire and wheel to flex over all terrain forming to the actual contour of the ground.

The tires are airless and can’t be popped.

The Tweel is “an experimental tire that features an airless outer band wrapped around a complex network of flexible polyurethane spokes. This approach allowed the wheel to sense and adjust to the road terrain while also maintaining strength and support. In 2011, Bridgestone unveiled their own version that features a lattice-style array of thermoplastic spokes. Both, however, have been beset by drawbacks such as loud noise (Tweel) and durability issues (Bridgestone airless), which are currently being ironed out prior to any kind of widespread market roll-out.

Polaris, a much lesser known manufacturer, has since thrown their own design into the ring. The difference, they believe, is that their tire not only runs silently, but also possesses military-grade ruggedness. In fact, the company says they’ve developed the technology specifically for off-road military ATVs.”, reported Smartplanet.

Here is the system on a civilian vehicle:

*****