These new tyres with integrated snow chain technology from Hyundai and Kia promise a leap in winter safety.
Imagine tyres that can alter at the push of a button, integrating snow chains to tackle snowy roads. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, right? But it’s now real, and it’s here.
We’ve all been there, struggling with conventional snow chains that are a hassle to install and remove.
Hyundai and Kia have decided to rewrite that script, and their revolutionary tyre technology features shape memory alloy modules that act like snow chains.
Do you have to put them on yourself? Nope, they deploy automatically at the push of a button.
Joon Mo Park, the brains behind Hyundai’s advanced chassis development team, added, “This innovation reflects our commitment to turning advanced technologies into real-world solutions that benefit customers.”
So how does this all work? Picture a cross-section of a wheel and tyre assembly, with radial grooves at regular intervals. These grooves house modules made of a shape memory alloy.
In normal conditions, this alloy stays compressed in an ‘L’ shape. But, when you hit that button, an electric current zaps the alloy into its original ‘J’ shape, pushing the module out of the tyre and onto the snowy road. Enhanced grip, stability, and safety when you need it most.
If the tyre wears down to the height of the module, it’s a clear sign that it needs replacing. No more guessing games or squinting at your tyres.
Currently, this tech is making its way through the patent process in South Korea and the US.
After some more technological fine-tuning, durability checks, performance testing, and regulatory nods, we might just see these smart tyres hitting the production lines.
For those still confused, click this highlighted bit of text to view a demonstration video on the Hyundai Motor Group YouTube channel.