Motorists may be one step closer to seeing the tire gauge go the way of full service gas station as Polaris debuted first airless tires on an ATV.
The Polaris Sportsman WV850 H.S. ATV is the first vehicle to get them, inspired by MV850 military ATV, according to Motor Authority.
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"The tires' inner structure is a mesh design that supports the weight of the vehicle, while still being flexible enough to soak up bumps," Motor Authority reported. "There's still a rubber outer tread so, like conventional tires, different tread patterns can be developed for different applications."
Polaris claims its TerrainArmor tires can take a direct hit from a .50-caliber round and still drive 350 miles and can run over a railroad spike and still go another 1,000 miles.
"In addition to not never needing a trip to the gas station's air pump, the TerrainArmor tires are reportedly less wasteful, because only the outer tread section needs to be replaced," Motor Authority reported. "They also offer a more comfortable ride and reduce noise, according to Polaris."
Wisconsin startup Resilient Technologies, which Polaris purchased last year, developed the new tire technology.
According to Fox News, the tires
are still a little pricey for the average motorist, with the WV850 H.O. starting at $14,999. Polaris said while those tires will be out in December in limited numbers, it is currently developing similar airless tires for other vehicles.
"We have seen great success with (non-pneumatic tires) in military and disaster relief scenarios and are excited to bring this technology to the consumer market for extreme work applications," David Longren, vice president of Polaris' Off-Road Division, said in a press statement.
Polaris said in the statement that "beyond having no flats, consumers will appreciate the other benefits TerrainArmor tires offer including a better center-of-gravity, improved cornering due to less pushing and the capability for the tires to be designed for a diverse range of applications."
Motor Authority reported that Michelin introduced the airless tire concept with the "Tweel" in 2005 while Bridgestone and Hankook later displayed similar concepts, but none of those ideas have reached a commercial or mass production stage yet.
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