Tyre innovation from Goodyear

Submitted by Unifex on Mon, 12/09/2019 - 08:42

Climate change is a thing. Carbon Dioxide emissions are a problem. Goodyear have a bizarre take on contributing to fixing it.

There were a couple of things that stuck in my mind from the

…the energy generated during the moss’ photosynthesis can power the tires’ electronics. This includes sensors, an artificial intelligence unit, and a light strip that changes colors in order to notify other drivers the car is braking or changing lanes.

Does anyone have any links to this sort of thing? Specifically, extracting usable electrical energy from plants as they photosynthesis. My understanding on the state of the art in this area is that the power we can currently get out of the process is amazingly tiny and the infrastructure is very specific. Not suitable for use in an environment like a rotating tyre. Would love to update my knowledge on this if it is out of date.

I did find some research into extracting electricity from plants based on plant movement but this didn't look like it was close to being commercially viable.

In a city roughly the size of Paris, Goodyear estimates these tires could produce 3,000 tons of oxygen and absorb over 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

I would be assuming that this is based on 100% uptake of their tyres. Or, more to the point, tyres that have this idea built in. I can see this being a patent other tyre manufacturers could get access to. I would love to see the numbers on this claim. Also, they're going to add 4000 tons of weight to the tyres on the roads? Again, the number of tyres in this calculation would be interesting. My back of the napkin calculation 4000 tons / (vehicles in France * (Population of Paris / Population of France)) gives about 0.0038 tons per set of 4 tyres. This is about 1.1 kg per tyre. Yes, this is a very rough calculation. I did say that it was a back of the napkin thing. :)

Also, 0.0299% of the world lives in Paris, France. Current CO2 emissions from human activity is just over 15 billions tons per year. This means about 448 millions tons from Paris France. While 4 kilotons doesn't sound like a lot in this scale I do take the pragmatic approach of every little bit helps. However, I don't know that the effort here would be worth it. That moss would not last forever and it would eventually biodegrade and release its carbon again. Unless these tyres are able to somehow sequester the carbon and lock it up for a long time, it doesn't feel like the hype would match the reality.