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"I Think Airless Tire Is Going To Win Out:" Airless Tires Make A Ton Of Sense For Tesla's Driverless Robotaxi

There have been recent repots of Tesla talking with Michelin about airless tires. These tires make even more sense for Tesla's driverless robotaxi vehicle in numerous ways.

Airless Tires For Tesla Robotaxi

Tesla is going to unveil its robotaxi vehicle on 8/8. That's coming up here pretty soon, as it's almost July now. This vehicle is going to be very special because it will be Tesla's first vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals. It will operate fully autonomously with software and cameras (along with the battery, power train, and electric motors, among other things).

Recently, there was talk of Tesla working with Michelin on airless tires and airless tires are something that have been in the works, but have not yet made it to any level of mass market adoption that I am aware of. But the concept is sound - create a tire that doesn't need air. This reduces maintenance and costs, as well as makes the tire safer against being punctured, among other things, such as having to reinflate the tires.

A robotaxi with airless tires will have many advantages over a robotaxi with air in the tires. The first advantage is that there won't be situations where the tire goes flat due to being punctured by something. This avoids robotaxi rides ending prematurely and having to get service.

The second advantage is the life of an airless tire is going to be much longer than a regular tire - assuming airless tires are made with the materials and formation that allows for this. It also means that a robotaxi vehicle being lighter will likely contribute to a longer life of the tire too with less pressure on it.

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Disadvantages To Airless Tires

Airless tires aren't immune to issues, however. The structure of an airless tire is more open, such that things could get lodged inside the open parts of the tire, such as mud and snow or other debris.

Then, there may be an issue with ride comfort, as the tires are much more affected by movement than tires with air in them are.

However, if the difference in ride comfort isn't that much and an airless tire provides double the life of the tire for a cheaper cost, then I think the airless tire is going to win out.

It's also possible that airless tires are going to over heat, causing an issue, due to the friction on the road. This could be solved by only allowing airless tire robotaxis to operate in cities and to avoid the freeways.

Airless tires could last 5 years or more before even needing to be inspected. The total lifespan could be 2 to 3 times longer than a tire with air.

All of this leads me to believe that the Tesla robotaxi vehicle, especially in city areas, is going to adopt an airless tire. It will be so much cheaper than a tire with air - cheaper to maintain and potentially buy, and will last longer.

Until airless tires are manufactured at scale and benefit from economies of scale, it's possible they may be MORE expensive than tires with air at first.

For Further Reading: Shocking Results As Tesla Owner Interviews Others About Tesla Vehicles: They Didn't Know the Model Y Was the Best Selling Car In the World

Will Tesla's robotaxi vehicle use airless tires?

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: GM, Michelin's Airless Tire Innovation Can Make Flat Tires A Thing Of The Past.

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Hi! I'm Jeremy Noel Johnson, and I am a Tesla investor and supporter and own a 2022 Model 3 RWD EV and I don't have range anxiety :). I enjoy bringing you breaking Tesla news as well as anything about Tesla or other EV companies I can find, like Aptera. Other interests of mine are AI, Tesla Energy and the Tesla Bot! You can follow me on X.COM or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow my Tesla and EV news coverage.

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