Posted on Jun 26, 2012

The next generation of tires may well have been premiered this year in Germany at the annual Hanover Fair, where scientists revealed what they have come to call “Adaptive Tires”, tires equipped with electronic sensors that allow them to reorient their features to suit the season, weather, and conditions in which you are driving. Once the sensors have acquired the nature of their surroundings and the road on which they are operating, they will increase the profile of the tires accordingly—even as the car is moving.

The scientists are presenting the tires as an end to the long-standing need to compromise between braking ability in diverse conditions and fuel efficiency. They claim that the tires’ adaptability makes them the perfect tire for any and every set of weather, temperature, and road conditions.

While the tires are not quite complete and final research and refinement is currently being performed, the tires are said to be debuting in the next few years and may soon become the standard in diverse, all-purpose driving. The one drawback: adaptive tires are expected to come at a considerable cost that may make their adoption slow. That cost may be offset by the increased fuel economy that they provide and, as with all new technologies, cost will no doubt fall with widespread adoption. However, one can expect not to see these on any but the more high-end luxury makes for some time.