A revered Korean tyre company Kumho has made a step forward towards the future of the automotive tyre industry with two award-winning concepts.
The hybrid one from the title is a concept named e-TOPS and it has both a part filled with air within the tyre and an airless part closer to the outer part of the tyre. This approach combines the improved safety and the lower potential of puncture of the airless approach while still preserving the comfort of riding on air. The outer, airless section has spokes and thread which give some level of comfort but its main purpose is to prevent punctures. The more inner section is filled with air and aimed at providing comfort while being protected from puncture.
However, that is not the end to innovations from Kumho. Another modern concept comes in the form of e-NIMF, a tyre that is supposed to be far more eco-friendly. It is completely airless and, according to Kumho, offers better stability than the traditional tyres. They also cannot deflate over time and their treads can be replaced. This means you do not need to discard the entire tyre once the thread is worn out. Should this solution reach mass production and become the norm, that would drastically reduce waste related to car tyres.