Auto -inflating tires are given in science fiction futures, if the vehicles have wheels that is. Look at the film Demolition Man, which features Wesley Snipe's character using voice commands to auto-inflate a tire. It seems like a simple idea, only now is it made?


From Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company comes the Air Maintenance Technology (AMT). The entire system is housed inside the tire. There will be no need for external intervention. Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer Jean-Claude Kihn elaborated, "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."


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)Office of Vehicle Technology awarded Goodyear with $1.5 million USD for further research in using the AMT system on commercial truck tires. Tires not properly inflated will cause up to a 3.3% drop in fuel economy. The DOE's angle is to lessen the demand for foreign oil by the 3.3%. The average semi-truck drives up to 1 million miles in its life time. The 3.3% improvement could mean a savings of $6,000 USD in the end. (3.3% ~= 0.12 cents per . With a liberal 20 mpg, the savings comes up to $6.000 at current gasoline prices.)


The grant also applies to a Goodyear and PPG Industries partnership on improving rolling resistance and fuel efficiencies of tires.


There is no date or pricing on the AMT system's release. Goodyear is also very hush on how the technology works. I am going to guess it is very similar to the SIT (self inflating tire) from 2008.