Day one of this year’s Movin’On Summit kicked-off bright and early Tuesday in beautiful Montréal offering a vast array of networking brain dates, working sessions, and press conferences revealing upcoming innovations and transportation game-changers. Among the most exciting press conferences would be the early afternoon session hosted by Michelin’s very own Executive Vice President of Research & Development, Eric Vinesse, Chief Executive Officer for Michelin Group, Florent Menegaux, and Steve Kiefer, Senior Vice President, Global Purchasing & Supply Chain General Motors.
The Michelin UPTIS – an airless wheel assembly, was introduced during the highly anticipated press conference revealing a new kind of innovation to impact passenger models sector as early as 2024, following a joint research agreement between Michelin and General Motors validating the prototype.
“Today, I’m especially pleased to introduce our latest breakthrough in mobility, supporting the first of the four pillars, a prototype – Michelin Uptis,” Vinesse said as he unveiled the airless, puncture-proof tire. “Together with our partner General Motors we have the ambition to make this prototype available for users and owners of passenger vehicles as early as 2024.”
“It brings less stress and more peace of mind knowing there’s no longer the risk of finding yourself stranded on the side of the road because of a flat tire. It brings greater efficiency and productivity for fleet and commercial vehicles that will no longer have to plan for maintenance operations to check and adjust… or to fix a flat tire,” he added.
The Uptis Prototype directly supports Michelin’s goal of holding true to its four-pillar vision in creating airless, connected, 3D printable, and completely sustainable innovative solutions. Currently, more than 200 million tires are discarded or replaced due to air pressure issues, road hazards, and damages. Uptis not only changes the way transportation is approached, but directly impacts the environment by eliminating wasted materials.
“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology,” said Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, global purchasing & supply chain, General Motors. “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.”
“The Uptis Prototype demonstrates Michelin’s capacity for innovation — in both the mastery of these high-tech materials, and also the development approach in close collaboration with GM, which validates our Vision concept as a roadmap for innovation,” added Vinesse. “Uptis represents progress toward Michelin’s vision for tomorrow’s mobility, and also embodies our commitment to a better, sustainable mobility for all.”