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Goodyear develops airless tyres for autonomous delivery robots

Goodyear develops airless tyres for autonomous delivery robots
6 Jan, 2022

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has announced that it has developed and is testing a custom-engineered non-pneumatic (airless) tyres (NPT) to support Starship Technologies’ autonomous delivery robots. The specially engineered airless tire is designed to extend tire life and reduce maintenance activities for Starship’s delivery fleet. 

Airless tires are not supported by air pressure and is also being developed by Bridgestone, Michelin, Hankook and other global giants. 

Michael Rachita, Goodyear’s senior program manager, NPT division said, “The micro delivery space presents a different set of needs as it relates to the tire, and our NPT technology is ideal to meet those needs to help enable a maintenance-free and long-lasting experience.” 

Goodyear and Starship have entered an in-field testing phase at Bowling Green State University to evaluate vehicle and tyre dependencies. The US tyre making giant has claimed that early on-vehicle tire testing data has shown positive results with respect to treadwear, braking and vibration dampening.  

Starship Technologies, a Goodyear Ventures portfolio company, builds and operates a network of over 1,000 last mile autonomous robots that carry and deliver packages, groceries and food directly to customers. 

The company’s electrically-powered, autonomous robots are completing thousands of deliveries daily and have travelled millions of miles in several cities across the world as they offer people a convenient, contactless delivery service. 

“Our delivery robots make thousands of deliveries every day in all types of weather conditions and terrain,” said Siim Viilup, mechanical engineering manager, Starship Technologies, adding, “To make sure we can keep up with the growing demand for our services, we need tires that are reliable and keep our robots on the move around the clock and around the globe. It’s great to see these new tires offering reliability as well as cost savings as we scale our business.”