Makers of airless tyres expect driverless cars to boost sales

Makers of airless tyres such as Japan’s Bridgestone Corporation hope driverless cars will herald a breakthrough for their niche technology, which is more than a decade old but underperforms standard tyres in every way except resistance to puncture.

Autonomous driving and the eventual introduction of self-driving taxis could mean greater demand for puncture-resistant tyres as greater usage of vehicles exposes them to more flat tyres…

France’s Michelin pioneered the technology, showcasing the first prototype in 2005 on a wheelchair. The commercial launch came in 2012, but uses have so far been mostly limited to ride-on lawnmowers and golf carts, along with construction machinery, where the chance of a puncture is high.