Goodyear Aero concept: the wheel that thinks it’s a propeller

Published: 05 March 2019

You know those flying cars people keep talking about? If they ever get built, here are their tyres, which double as propellers – or, if you’d rather, here are their propellers, which double as tyres. Well, there’s another one ar the 2019 Geneva motor show.

The Aero concept from Goodyear – and it really is a concept, with no road map to a production version – showcases ideas for some multi-tasking hardware that could form part of the versatile commuter transport of the future. Maybe, perhaps…

Goodyear Aero flying wheel concept car driving in virtual reality

When you’re driving, it’s a wheel/tyre combo on each corner of the car. When you’re flying, they all pivot around to become multi-directional propellers.

Goodyear Aero flying wheel concept car airborne in virtual reality

These are the key elements:

  • Airless tyre flexible enough to dampen road bumps.
  • Spokes that are light, yet strong enough to carry the weight of the vehicle, and shaped to work as fan blades for airborne use.
  • To minimise weighty hardware, the Aero would use magnets to provide frictionless propulsion.
  • Light-based fibre-optic sensors would monitor road conditions, tyre wear and the structural integrity of the tyre.
  • An embedded AI processor would combine tyre sensor info with data from other vehicles and roadside infrastructure, analysing all that information and recommending the best way to make good progress: fly or drive.

Goodyear Aero flying wheel concept car showing deflection in virtual reality

Great renderings, you may be thinking – but what was the actual show car like?

Well, there wasn’t one. Just a single, sad-looking little wheel.

Goodyear Aero flying wheel concept at the 2019 Geneva motor show


A-Z of the Geneva motor show 2019 on CAR

By Colin Overland

CAR's managing editor: wordsmith, critic, purveyor of fine captions