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With the growing use of ground robots for all sorts of missions, reliable tires are needed for keeping robots on the move around the clock in all types of weather conditions and terrain. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has developed and is testing a custom-engineered non-pneumatic (airless) tire (NPT) to support Starship Technologies, a delivery robots company. Starship builds and operates a network of over 1,000 last-mile autonomous robots that carry and deliver packages, groceries, and food directly to customers.

To address Starship’s request related to tire health and maintenance, Goodyear developed a specially engineered airless tire designed to extend tire life and reduce maintenance activities for Starship’s delivery fleet.

The companies have entered an in-field testing phase at Bowling Green State University (BGSU, Ohio) to evaluate vehicle and tire dependencies. Early on-vehicle tire testing data has shown positive results with respect to treadwear, braking and vibration dampening, according to Goodyear’s announcement.

Airless tires could bring us closer to the introduction of the first 100% sustainable material and maintenance-free tire by 2030.