The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is an opportunity for companies in a wide range of fields to showcase their new technologies. The show has evolved into an incredible platform for automotive-related manufacturers and this year's edition is no different.
Take Goodyear. The tire giant pulled a double-whammy, unveiling two products remarkable each in their own way: one is made of 70 percent sustainable materials, the other requires 0 percent air to function.
In 2020, you may recall, Goodyear set a goal of creating a tire built entirely from sustainable materials by 2030. The one unveiled at CES is the first step toward achieving that ambition. The recycled materials in the tire will help reduce the company's dependence on petroleum products. Carbon black - which strengthens and extends the life of the tire compound - is traditionally made by burning petroleum, but Goodyear created carbon black from methane, carbon dioxide and vegetable oil, reducing carbon emissions in the production process.
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Goodyear also used excess soybean oil from the traditional food (and animal) industry to keep the rubber flexible when temperatures change. Silica, on the other hand, is needed to improve grip and reduce fuel consumption. Goodyear created a new form of silica from a rice processing by-product called rice husk ash, which often ends up in landfills. Goodyear has also made tire cords by recycling polyester from plastic bottles.
The tire is only a demonstration product at this point, but Goodyear's development process with this product bodes well for the future.
In addition, Goodyear has announced a test program for an airless tire. This will be tested by Starship Technologies, which builds and operates more than 1,000 autonomous robots that deliver packages. Michelin has already introduced an airless tire and tested its own version on Chevrolet Bolts in 2019.