Goodyear just unveiled their newest innovation in tires made specifically for self-driving cars. Instead of the traditional tire, Goodyear is betting on a new concept that features balls instead of rings.
The benefit of a tire that is spherical is that it can drive in any direction, something that frees a self-driving car to go wherever it needs to go to keep it’s driver safe (or into a bus if it’s a Google car).
The new tire is called The Eagle-360 and it is a drastic departure from how wheels have been connected to cars. Instead of the standard axle, wheels would now be connected and controlled via a magnetic levitation system. The upside is that parallel parking is a snap, the downside is that this is pretty much the death of drifting.
The company is betting heavy on this new design, but knowing that the amount of time it could take cars to evolve to utilize the Eagle 360, they’ve also come up with the Intelligrip tires. While they look like boring old traditional tires, the wheels are outfitted with sensors that monitor the road’s surface and conditions and use that to help the car adapt and drive itself better and safer than just using proximity sensors and GPS.