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Toyo Tire unveils airless tire

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. unveiled Friday a pilot model of an
airless tire that eliminates the risk of a flat tire and time to pump
air.

The company has not decided on when to put the airless tire
"noair" into practical use but is working to market the prospective
next-generation product at an early date, company officials said.

The airless tire features 50 sets of cross-shaped resin
supporting rods lined up in a circle in place of air to bolster the
weight of a vehicle and absorb shocks from the road.

The company has been working on the product since 2006 to
improve durability and reduce noise. While the previous prototypes
ran at a low- to moderate-speed, the latest one is capable of
operating at a high speed up to some 120 kilometers per hour, the
officials said.

The durability of the latest prototype has increased by more
than eightfold compared with the previous pilot models, the company
said.

On Friday, Toyo Tire conducted a demonstration run using a
passenger car at a park in Osaka, western Japan, saying it has become
the first company in the tire industry to hold such a test in public.

However, airless tires cannot currently be used on public roads
as the Japanese road traffic law has no regulation regarding such
tires.

Other tire makers including Bridgestone Corp. are also in the
race to develop airless tires which have capabilities similar to
conventional tires. (Sept. 8)


Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. unveils its pilot "noair" automobile tires at a trial driving event in the city of Suita, western Japan, on Sept. 8, 2017. (Kyodo)