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Pump Up the Jam: Goodyear Aims to Remove Air Pumps

Goodyear plans to make air pumps obsolete with its self-inflating tires.

Goodyear has plans to make air pumps obsolete with its self-inflating tires. The program is called AMT, or Air Maintenance Technology. How it works is that all of the electronic and mechanical components would be contained within the tires themselves. AMT would monitor each tire's air pressure and use a miniature pump to draw in air as needed. Goodyear hasn't stated whether the self-inflating system could also expel air in order to keep hot tires from becoming overinflated.

There have been self-inflating tire systems in the past, but most of them have not been fully contained within the tire, let alone powered by it. The only exception is CODA Developments SIT System, which uses a built-in peristaltic pump to continuously keep tires from getting soft. There is no word on when AMT mighty become commercially available. Goodyear said that research has been accelerated via two grants. The United States Department of Energy's Office of Vehicle Technology awarded Goodyear $1.5 million to develop AMT for commercial trucks just this past week.

On the other side of the ocean, the government of Luxembourg provided the company with a grant last month for the development of consumer tires using this new technology.

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