Hyundai’s revolutionary car tires with built-in snow chains

Hyundai has unveiled an innovative wheel and tire design that could revolutionize winter driving. The company has developed a tire with built-in snow chains, which can be deployed or retracted at the push of a button, potentially marking the end of the cumbersome and cold task of manually fitting snow chains.

Each tire features six indented grooves aligned with the wheel’s spokes. Within these grooves are thick, snow chain-like wires, tucked away within the tread. These wires are made using compressed shape memory alloys, which expand when electrified. This means that in challenging road conditions, or when snow chains are legally required, drivers can simply press a button. The alloy expands, elevating the wire loop above the tread surface, making the vehicle ready for snowy or icy roads without the driver having to leave the car.

Hyundai has highlighted an additional benefit of this technology: the visibility and sound of the deployed snow chains can alert drivers to the need for new tires. Currently, this innovative tire is in the conceptual stage.

Joon Mo Park, Hyundai’s Head of Advanced Chassis Development Team, commented on the innovation. “This innovation, which will hopefully be introduced on Hyundai and Kia vehicles someday, reflects our commitment to turning advanced technologies into real-world solutions that benefit customers,” he stated. This statement underscores Hyundai’s dedication to incorporating cutting-edge technology into practical, user-friendly applications.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Unveil Snow Chain-Integrated Tire Technology Using Shape Memory Alloy

The realization of this concept into a marketable product requires significant efforts. The entire wheel assembly, including electrical connections, needs to be redesigned, necessitating collaboration between Hyundai and tire manufacturers. This technology, if implemented, could be particularly beneficial for drivers who frequently navigate snowy or icy roads, offering a blend of convenience and safety.

Hyundai has patented this technology in South Korea and the USA. The company, along with its subsidiary Kia, is considering the mass production of these tires. This consideration is dependent on further development of the technology, as well as extensive durability, performance testing, and regulatory reviews.

The introduction of this technology could be a game-changer in automotive safety and convenience, especially in regions prone to heavy snowfall and icy conditions. While still in its developmental phase, the potential of Hyundai’s built-in snow chain tire promises a significant leap forward in vehicle preparedness for winter conditions, eagerly awaited by the automotive community.

Source: Hyundai

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