HANOVER, Germany — Over the past year, researchers at The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. have been working on a new Air Maintenance Technology application that can aid in fuel savings and CO2 reductions while potentially improving performance and eliminating need for external inflation pressure intervention.
The commercial application of Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology made its debut at the 2012 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) Commercial Vehicle Show here this week.
Tire-related costs are the single largest maintenance item for commercial vehicle fleet operators with more than 50 percent of all truck and trailer breakdowns involving a tire in some way, according to the American Trucking Associations.
Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology mechanism allows tires to maintain constant, optimum pressure without the use of external pumps, electronics and driver intervention.
Proper tire inflation can result in improved fuel economy, prolonged tread life and optimized tire performance, Goodyear officials said, adding that customers should receive the following key benefits from Air Maintenance Technology-enabled tires:
• Improved fuel economy
• Prolonged tread life
• Optimized performance
Optimum tire pressure is key in the commercial market, Goodyear officials said.
It is estimated that for every 10 psi lost in tire inflation, there is a 1 percent loss in miles per gallon and that while the 1 percent may seem insignificant, it could cost a truck owner over $627.00 in fuel, based on a vehicle that has a fuel consumption of 6.6 miles per gallon, runs 100,000 miles a year with a diesel fuel price of $4.10/gallon.
“We believe the Air Maintenance Technology application for commercial vehicle tires will not only enhance the performance of the tire, but will also provide cost savings to fleet owners and operators through the extension of tire tread life and increased fuel economy” said Goodyear’s Chief Technical Officer, Jean-Claude Kihn. “The progress we continue to make with this technology is very encouraging. We look forward to further testing of this concept.”
“Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology has the potential to be a game-changer for the commercial trucking industry,” said Phillip Kane, vice president, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. “By addressing issues that are critically important to trucking operations, Air Maintenance Technology can help keep their trucks up and running while optimizing their productivity.”
Engineers at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio, are credited with the development of the commercial application of this concept and the supporting technology. Prototype tires have been produced in Goodyear’s Topeka manufacturing plant in Kansas and rigorous validation testing has confirmed that the AMT pumping mechanism works. An extensive fleet trial is planned to gather real-world information from customers in 2013.
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