Bridgestone develops airless bicycle tires

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Tokyo – Bridgestone Corp., together with Bridgestone Cycle Co., Ltd., has developed an airless bicycle tire as part of its “air free concept” technology, the Japanese tire-maker announced 17 April.

The two companies will advance feasibility studies and seek to make this new tire available in the market by 2019.

Bridgestone’s “air free concept” uses a structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of tires, eliminating the need to inflate tires with air to support the…

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

Auto Industry ‘Where It’s At,’ Executives Say

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DETROIT – The automobile industry these days increasingly prefers the open collar to a necktie and it is not just fashion statement, leading executives say, but a cultural shift steadily making engineering jobs in Detroit and Stuttgart more attractive to young talent previously drawn to the laidback lure of Silicon Valley.

“It’s on the way back,” says General Motors Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Jon Lauckner, who also heads the automaker’s venture-capital arm where he has an umpire’s view of startup and investment activity. “People are rediscovering the auto industry.”

Lauckner recalls launching GM Ventures nearly seven ago and “counting on one hand” the number of startups relevant to automotive, whereas today there is a hum of activity in highly germane fields such as artificial intelligence, microprocessors and materials science.

Read the source article at WardsAuto

Continental to expand its R&D footprint in North America with Advanced Indoor Evaluation Center

UVALDE, TexasApril 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Continental has announced the investment of approximately $10 million in a new indoor tire test center located in Uvalde, Texas, at the company’s U.S. proving grounds.

“The new test center will support our vision of being the preferred technology partner for Continental’s Original Equipment customers for tires, as well as increasing our speed in developing new technologies specifically designed for the Americas market,” said Dr. Boris Mergell, head of research and development for Passenger and Light Truck Tires at Continental.

 

Strategically located on Continental’s proving grounds for tires in Uvalde, the new test center is designed to provide indoor test capacity for all tires manufactured in Continental’s North and South American plants.

“Our developments for Original Equipment customers in the Americas will be positively impacted, as we will be able to increase our testing capacity in the region,” said Dr. Juan Botero, vice president of key account management for Original Equipment Passenger and Light Truck Tires for Continental Tire the Americas. The test facility is expected to be fully functional in April, 2019.

Read the source article at PR Newswire

Thai Center Built to Foster Rubber Demand Set to Roll

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The Thai government says the country’s first international-standard vehicle and tire-testing center will open next year.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana tells the Bangkok Post newspaper the TB3.7 million ($107.6 million) center covering 488 acres (198 ha) also will be used for R&D to aid Thailand’s push to become a regional hub for next-generation auto products.

“The first phase of the testing center should be ready for Thai car and tire makers in 2018,” Uttama is quoted as saying. “The whole testing center should be ready for full operation in 2019.”

The project was launched in 2015 as part of a government effort to support the automotive sector and tire-related industries and boost demand for natural rubber.

Read the source article at WardsAuto

Valeo Innovation Challenge semi-finalists chosen

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Valeo has announced the 24 teams selected to move onto the second stage of its global competition, the Valeo Innovation Challenge. Selected from a total of 1,628 participating teams by 70 Valeo experts and independent scientists, the 24 semi-finalist teams hail from 13 countries across 23 universities and schools.

Read the source article at Tyrepress

Hankook Tire Announces 2017 Motorsports Program

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Following an incredible 2016 Formula Drift season, which saw Hankook driver Chris Forsberg win his third Formula Drift Championship, Hankook Tire announced its plans to bolster its Formula Drift roster and racing tires heading into the 2017 season.

Reigning champion and Formula Drift legend Chris Forsberg will be back for his seventh consecutive year with Hankook, alongside friend and fellow Hankook teammate Ryan Tuerck.

Read the source article at Aftermarket News

Falken will be Formula Drift ‘official’ tire

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Sumitomo Rubber North America’s Falken brand will be the “official” tire sponsor of Formula Drift this year, building on the brand’s winning the series’ tire manufacturers’ championship last year.

SRNA plans to support Falken’s sponsorship position throughout the season via dealer hospitality, spokesmodel meet and greets, driver autograph signings and a learning center display at its Falken rig at most of the series’ eight rounds.

SRNA also disclosed it’ll be sponsoring six drivers this year — 2011 Formula D Champion Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara in a Subaru BRZ, Justin Pawlak in a Ford Mustang, Aurimas Bakchis and Matt Field in Nissan 240SXs, and James Deane and Piot Wiek in Nissan Silvia S15s — who will be using an updated version of the Azenis RT615K+ drift tire.

“We’re fully committed to extending our brand and legacy through this great series,” said Nick Fousekis, director, motorsports marketing and events. “Formula Drift has continued to flourish, and Falken has grown with it.”

Read the source article at Tire Business

5 tire firms gearing up for 2017 Formula Drift season

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — Five tire suppliers have firmed up their plans for this year’s Formula Drift series, whose season kicks off March 31-April 1 in the streets of Long Beach in support of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race.

Heading the list is Sumitomo Rubber North America’s Falken brand, which has secured a deal as the official tire sponsor of Formula Drift and is sponsoring six drivers in this year’s championship.

The other tire brands with firm plans for 2017 are Achilles Tire USA, Hankook Tire America Corp., Nexen Tire America Inc. and Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc.

Achilles — a brand owned/controlled by Indonesia’s P.T. Multistrada Arah Sarana — is backing 17 drivers, including five in the top Pro Series.

“Formula DRIFT has been a wonderful partner for our brand in the U.S. and throughout the world,” said Cheralyn Hale, director of marketing for Irvine, Calif.-based Achilles Tire USA.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Michelin establishes joint research lab for cobotics R&D

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The Institut Pascal, Lapsco and Limos have joined forces with the Michelin Group to create FactoLab, for the development of cobotics and new digital technologies.

R&D at the new facility will initially focus on the development of man-machine cooperation, particularly in the fields of cobotics and new digital technologies. The aim is to create collaborative robots and connected devices for production operators in order to eliminate some of the physically arduous or stress-causing tasks and thus improve working conditions. This program will extend and expand on experiments in progress on the Cholet site in France and the Valladolid site in Spain, the first results of which have proved positive.

For the Michelin Group, FactoLab opens up the opportunity to work with the best researchers in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in fields such as cognitive sciences. It is part of an active partnership strategy developed over several years to increase the group’s strength and speed of innovation.

Read the source article at Tire Technology International

Hankook Opens Test Centre in Finland

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Located 300 km north of the Arctic Circle in Ivalo, Finland, Technotrac is Hankook Tire’s new state-of-the-art winter tire testing facility.

The opening of Technotrac, says Hankook, marks a major milestone for the tire manufacturer, proving that its winter tires are tried and tested in the world’s most severe winter conditions.

Read the source article at Autosphere.ca