Tired of being stuck in traffic? Listen to Doc from Back to the Future: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
In the we-kid-you-not department, Goodyear has just introduced the AERO, a tire system that transitions from the vertical, ground-based round thing we’ve always known to a horizontal rotating disc that lofts your vehicle into the air.
Before you zoom over to Pep Boys to buy a set for your car, know that this invention remains in what the industry calls concept mode.
Goodyear rolled out the AERO at the Geneva International Motor Show this week. In the promo video, our narrator says:
“As the challenges of urban transport continue to grow, mobility companies are searching for new solutions. And now they have started looking to the sky for the answer. Goodyear’s work on advanced tire architectures and materials led us to imagine a two-in-one concept tire, designed for the autonomous, flying cars of the future. The Goodyear AERO uses a non-pneumatic structure that is flexible enough to drive on the road and is strong enough to let vehicles fly…The Goodyear AERO would allow future commuters to move seamlessly from the road to the sky.”
First of all, we really like the term “mobility companies.” NATCO is a proud mobility company. Beyond that, the concept tire gives us a whole assortment of questions that leaves skid marks in our thought process.
Right now, we’ll leave them for another time. What intrigues us is the possibility of flying cars actually reducing congestion on our roads and highways.
Let’s assume for a moment that the flying concept would initially work only for lighter vehicles. Making a multi-ton 18-wheeler fly would seem to require the equivalent of a set of airplane engines—and then, well, why not just use an airplane? (Whups: the flying truck is in development, too.)
Fewer cars on highways would be a 3PL industry dream come true. Timely delivery is essential. Our customers expect it. Our carriers strive for it. Our reputation depends on it.
If the idea of flying cars sounds too sci-fi right now, know that, while this particular invention is new, the concept is old. After all, at one point—and not all that long ago—the horse and buggy began sharing the road with that new thing called an “automobile.”