For those of you who live in areas where it snows, you can go ahead and throw away your snow chains as Hyundai and Kia have developed new tyre technology which means you’ll never have to use them again.
The new ‘snow chain-integrated’ tyres essentially mimic the shape of your conventional chains that can often be a hassle to install, supposedly making it easier for drivers to stay safe in winter conditions.
They work by deploying a series of metal rods called ‘shape memory alloy’ modules mounted within the wheel and tyre that can be controlled by the touch of a button.
Each module is spread out around the tyre at regular intervals (like a pizza) and resemble an L-shape when they aren’t deployed, meaning the tyre maintains a perfect circular shape. Once an electric current is applied, they form a J-shape that makes contact with the road surface, ultimately improving traction.
“This innovation, which will hopefully be introduced on Hyundai and Kia vehicles someday, reflects our commitment to turning advanced technologies into real-world solutions that benefit customers,” said Joon Mo Park, Head of Advanced Chassis Development Team.
“We will continue to develop technologies that enhance safety and convenience of our vehicles and bring value to our customers.”
The snow-chain integrated tyres are the second clever invention that Hyundai and Kia have recently come up with, the first being their Universal Wheel Drive System, or simply Uni Wheel.