Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology wins 2012 award
Technology-focused publication Popular Mechanics named the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company as a 2012 Breakthrough Award winner for their Air Maintenance Technology (AMT). The Breakthrough Awards, now in their eighth year, recognize the innovators and products that have dramatically advanced the fields of technology, medicine, space exploration, automotive design, environmental engineering and more. Goodyear and other winners were honored at an invitation-only conference and gala awards ceremony in New York City in October, and in the November issue of Popular Mechanics.
“We are honored to be named as one of Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award winners for 2012,” stated Goodyear’s chief technical officer Jean-Claude Kihn. “Our Air Maintenance Technology will enhance driving performance, while having a positive impact on the environment through improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and extended tire life. This award highlights the innovative work of our engineers, as well as our efforts to bring a relevant product to market.”
Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology will help ensure the optimum tire pressure is maintained and as a result could mean substantial savings at the fuel pump. According to government and industry research, underinflated tires result in between a 2.5 percent and 3.3 percent decrease in fuel economy. While the technology is complex, the idea behind the AMT system is relatively simple and powered by the tire itself as it rolls down the road.
According to Goodyear, an internal regulator continuously monitors pressure in each tire. When pressure drops below a pre-specified level, the regulator opens, allowing air to flow into a pumping tube. As the tire rolls, the deformation of the tire against the pavement flattens the pumping tube, forcing air into the tire cavity. When optimal pressure has been restored, the regulator closes to prevent over-inflation. This results in continuous maintenance of optimal tire pressure – increasing tread life and decreasing fuel costs.
“We are once again excited to recognize this year’s list of incredible honorees for their role in shaping the future,” said James B. Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics. “From a featherweight metal to the world’s fastest and most electrically efficient supercomputer, this year’s winners embody the creative spirit that the Breakthrough Awards were founded upon.”
Past recipients of the Breakthrough Awards include James Cameron, genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter, efficiency expert Amory Lovins, inventor and FIRST Robotics founder Dean Kamen, and humanitarian engineer Amy Smith.