Goodyear develops airless tyres for autonomous delivery robots

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 06 Jan 2022


Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, a leading tyre manufacturer has developed and is testing a custom-engineered non-pneumatic (airless) tyre (NPT) to support Starship delivery robots.

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 says to address Starship’s request related to tyre health and maintenance, it has developed a specially engineered airless tyre designed to extend tyre life and reduce maintenance activities for the delivery fleet.

The partners have started in-field testing phase at Bowling Green State University to evaluate vehicle and tyre dependencies. The early test results has shown positive results with respect to treadwear, braking and vibration dampening.

Michael Rachita, Goodyear’s senior program manager, non-pneumatic tyres said,“We are excited to extend our unique airless tyre architectures into new forms of mobility. The micro delivery space presents a different set of needs as it relates to the tyre, and our NPT technology is ideal to meet those needs to help enable a maintenance-free and long-lasting experience.”

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