Airless
A technology that eliminates the risk of flats and rapid pressure loss and reduces environmental impact



VISION eliminates the need for air with a revolutionary structure capable of supporting the vehicle, while also delivering a safe, comfortable ride. Without air, flat tires and pressure loss are no longer an issue.

Today, this airless technology is embodied by Michelin’s Unique Puncture-proof Tire System (UPTIS) prototype, which is a combined airless tire and wheel assembly for passenger cars.

Presented to the world at the Movin’On June 2019 summit for sustainable mobility, UPTIS marks the first step on the road to making the VISION concept a technological reality.

A decisive technological breakthrough

Ushering in a new generation of airless solutions developed by Michelin, UPTIS represents a genuine technological breakthrough thanks to its unique structure and materials.

Combining an aluminum wheel and a flexible load-bearing structure made from glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP), a product of Michelin’s expertise in high-tech materials, UPTIS delivers all the performance qualities associated with a Michelin tire.

Unlike existing airless solutions, which are only suitable for low-speed professional applications, UPTIS is perfectly suited to the needs of passenger cars.
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A fundamental step toward more sustainable mobility, Michelin’s UPTIS prototype generates significant benefits for motorists, fleet owners and the environment

Greater peace of mind

Motorists no longer need to worry about the impact of road conditions on their tires, because UPTIS eliminates the risk of losing control of the vehicle or having to stop at the roadside with a flat.

Increased productivity

UPTIS enhances efficiency for fleet owners by reducing the risks of vehicle downtime and eliminating tire-related maintenance needs (pressure checks and tire inflation).

A smaller environmental footprint

Airless technology will drastically reduce the number of tires that are scrapped because of punctures.
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NO PUNCTURES = LESS WASTE


Every year, 20%* of tires are discarded as scrap due to flats and rapid pressure loss (12%) or irregular wear and tear caused by poor tire pressure (8%), i.e., the equivalent of 200 million tires, or 2 million tonnes*. That’s 200 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.


Tires scrapped
due to flats and
rapid pressure loss*


Tires scrapped
due to irregular wear and tear caused by under- or over-inflated tires*


Number of tires wasted that could be avoided thanks to UPTIS, i.e.,
200 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower*

*In-house “scrapyard” survey (2012-2015) based on a sample of 135,000 tires and extrapolated on a global scale (estimates indicate that one billion end-of-life tires are discarded each year).

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An ideal solution for the mobility of tomorrow

Designed for passenger vehicles (including electric vehicles), Michelin’s UPTIS prototype is perfectly suited to the new generation of clean, autonomous mobility solutions. UPTIS delivers a high level of comfort and safety and eliminates the burden associated with tire maintenance, making it a key asset for emerging collective mobility applications, such as autonomous shuttles and shared vehicle fleets.

Bringing the future closer

Michelin UPTIS will be brought to market in 2024, thanks to a partnership between Michelin and General Motors. As part of a joint research agreement, Michelin UPTIS has already been tested on vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, with testing now continuing on fleets operating in real-world conditions.
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“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that UPTIS presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology. UPTIS is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.” Steve Kiefer Senior Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain at General Motors
“The UPTIS prototype demonstrates Michelin’s capacity for innovation, both in the area of high-tech materials and in our development approach, in close collaboration with GM. This partnership further strengthens our innovation roadmap, built around the VISION concept.” Éric Vinesse Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Michelin
Michelin Prototype Tire Testing at GM Milford

Putting innovation to the test

The UPTIS prototype will be fitted to a fleet of vehicles in Las Vegas, where it will be tested for two years through intensive use in real-world conditions. The fleet was chosen because it met the testing requirement of vehicles with high daily mileage, exposed to high-temperature driving conditions.
This development phase comes on top of the tests initiated several months ago in Greenville, South Carolina.

Fitting prototypes to vehicles for real-world testing is the final test round to which Michelin tires are regularly subjected. The data collected by engineers during this period will enable them to perfect the prototype in preparation for its market launch.

News

UPTIS unveiled to the public

After its presentation at the “Movin’On” summit in June, Uptis made its European debut at the Frankfurt trade show. With this revolutionary prototype, Michelin is consolidating its vision for a sustainable future.

Tire Manufacturer of the Year, Innovation Award : two major awards for Michelin

Michelin kicks off 2020 with a bang at the Tire Technology Expo in Hanover for the second year in a row by receiving the prestigious title of Tire Manufacturer of the Year, as well as the Tire Technology 2020 Innovation Award for “Uptis”, its airless prototype. Questions to Pierre Robert,...

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