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Could 2024 Be The Year We See Michelin’s Uptis Airless Tire?

In the automotive world, tires can be a constant source of aggravation. From nails to potholes, the constant worry of a flat is real. These issues are why tire manufacturers have been working on creating an airless tire.

The Tweel

Michelin has been exploring the concept of an airless tire since 2005 when it introduced the Tweel. That same year, Popular Science named the Tweel the “Best of What’s New” in the automotive technology category. It would go on to win several more awards. 

The Tweel offered many benefits, such as never having a flat tire and better braking performance. It could also reduce hydroplaning, which can improve safety. 

But it was not without its flaws. Noise, vibrations, and more friction were initial issues resolved in later prototypes. After these refinements, the Tweel was used on three vehicles during the Hot Rod Power Tour road trip in 2013. This road trip allowed users to validate the reliability and viability of the product.

Commercial vehicles like mowers, construction equipment, and forklifts would be the first segment to use the Tweel. There is no airless tire option for passenger vehicles.

Until recently, that is.

The MICHELIN® Uptis (Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System) is the first airless mobility solution for passenger vehicles. In 2019, Michelin teamed up with GM to do real-world testing of the Uptis on their Bolt EVs. If these tests prove positive, GM will release the tires as an option for some cars in 2024 or 2025.

“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology,” said Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, global purchasing and supply chain, General Motors. “Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.”

uptis airless tire from michelin

UPTIS Benefits

There are many reasons to get excited about the launch of these tires.

Consumers will save money on tire repairs and replacements. Less stress about road conditions, flats, and low air pressure will add to the benefits.

The tires will have a positive environmental impact. Reducing the number of discarded tires in landfills will minimize fire hazards, water contamination, and pollution. Uptis could replace approximately 200 million tires that would otherwise be scrapped for disrepair or wear and tear.


Michelin has stated that the tires were tested at 130 mph, making it great for law enforcement. These tests were done at the request of European police who were facing challenges with criminal shooting out tires on police cars.

The police wanted to to test the Uptis on their police cars. While we do not know what the cars were – we do know they were used at fast speeds and that the results were good. We are guessing this means they are great in shootouts – and hi-speed chases.

The tires were also tested on DHL delivery vans in Singapore. This helped assess the reliability and functionality on low-speed delivery vehicles.

All of this testing is helping them to create a better product for passenger vehicles.

While no official date for launch has been released, late 2024 is speculated. It will not replace existing pneumatic tires, but will be an option.

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