Airless tires have been the up-and-coming futuristic auto technology for several years. Kumho Tire is taking the concept into even more futuristic territory with a tire that changes shape and properties to adapt to current road conditions. Instead of using different tires for different seasons (or using all-season tires that might not be optimal in certain conditions), the Maxplo tire customizes itself as needed.
The Maxplo concept tire is made up of tread blocks that adjust based on the terrain on which you are driving. In wet, rainy conditions, grooves around the circumference of the tire and all over its surface channel water away from the area of contact between the tire and the street.
Off-road driving causes the tire’s blocks to move apart, widening the tire’s footprint and and increasing traction and braking power. When driving on snowy and icy roads, hidden spikes come out from between the tread blocks to grip the road and prevent slipping and sliding.
The Maxplo concept took first place in the Italian A’ Design Awards – Futuristic Class. Kumho states that this type of tire technology won’t be hitting your local tire dealer anytime soon, but perhaps the concepts can start to filter into tire design over the next few years. One day, if we’re lucky, we really will be able to drive on tires that customize themselves to whatever road conditions we find ourselves in at the moment.