Goodyear's New Tires for Starship Robots are Not Full of Air
The non-pneumatic tires can't be punctured, and could lead to more data-driving wheels.
Goodyear is developing and testing non-pneumatic (airless) tires on Starship’s delivery robots. (Starship is a Goodyear Ventures portfolio company)
The airless tire design should require less maintenance (they can’t be punctured or lose pressure) and extend tire life. According to the press announcement, early testing at Bowling Green State University “has shown positive results with respect to treadwear, braking and vibration dampening.” (That last bit is important when carrying food!)
The deal illustrates that the robot delivery space has hit a point where specialized parts are being developed, and specialized parts (like these tires) will help the entire sector expand. Plus, there is a data component probably hiding just around the corner.
Tires aren’t really something you think about or are something you take for granted. But they are obvioulsy important when you want to deliver food frome one place to another (duh). And while the ability to navigate across broken glass or other sharp objects may not be as important on college campuses (where Starship mainly operates), it will be more important on public sidewalks and streets.