At this year’s Essen Motor Show, South Korean tire maker Hankook is once again concentrating on future topics and presenting two futuristic concept tires, the Aeroflow and the Hexonic. The innovation concept initiated with the London Royal College of Art this year within the context of the Hankook “Design Innovation” was launched under the motto “Extending Future Life beyond Mobility”. The task the participating students were set was to develop a new tire concept for autonomous vehicles and thus to create a whole new experience for mobility of the future. Evaluation criteria for choosing the winners included attractiveness for the user, design and the implementation of convincing technical principles.
“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 Research and Development Centre 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.”
Hexonic is an intelligent 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 deciding factor for the driving experience here. The Hexonic supports the vehicle’s efforts to offer maximum driving comfort by scanning and analyzing the road in real time using seven separate sensors. This way, the tire records road conditions such as grip, temperature and state of the road surface and adapts the tire treads accordingly.
The Aeroflow is a tire for maximum downforce designed for use in motorsports. To achieve this, 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 pick up the air during driving and use this to generate additional downforce if necessary. The focus of the design on downforce, which is not generally taken into consideration during tire development, is what makes the draft so unique. Following their European première at the Essen Motor Show, the award-winning concept tyres will be on show at further European trade fairs next year.