Two interesting tire concepts have been devised as part of the Design Innovation project, an initiative by Hankook to explore the limits of tire and mobility developments, which takes place every two years in collaboration with renowned design universities. For the 2018 event, a cooperation with the London’s Royal College of Art, the theme was ‘Extending future life beyond mobility’, with the winning entries being Aeroflow and Hexonic.
The Aeroflow tire design is intended for maximum downforce in motorsports. The wheel has been widened through a separable tread and the tire grip has been optimized. The wheels have been equipped with turbine impellers to attract more air during driving, which is then used to generate additional downforce if necessary.
Hexonic is a tire concept for autonomous shared mobility vehicles. The designer considered completely autonomous, driverless vehicles as the standard for future cities and developed a tire for jointly used cars. Passenger comfort is the main dynamic factor for such vehicles, and thus Hexonic scans and analyzes the road in real time using seven separate sensors. This way, the tire records road conditions such as grip, temperature and the condition of the road surface and adapts the tire treads accordingly.
“This project is part of our effort to find creative and efficient solutions for mobility of the future,” explained Klaus Krause, head of the European R&D center at Hankook. “We are very pleased to be presenting creative contributions that demonstrate the out-of-the-box mindset that we also promote in our employees. Over the past few years, the project has already contributed to the development of innovative tires. We will no doubt continue to develop new visions that go beyond the limits of current tires and mobility.”