Tires; while they are many times taken for granted they are by far one of the most important elements on your vehicle. They provide traction to keep you on the road, improve your gas mileage when properly inflated, and help provide a smooth and comfortable ride. Although they make look relatively low-tech, tires are much more than just rubber tubes that surround your rims. There is an immense amount of research and technology that goes into creating tires, and the new eMembrane by Hankook Tire’s is a prime example.
Hankook Tire, a South Korean company that has been in business since the early 1940s, is one of the world’s leading tire manufacturers. With availability in 180 countries around the globe they have designed many top of the line tires and won numerous awards; however the eMembrane, developed in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati, is truly ground breaking.
The eMembrane, targeted at younger drivers, combines many different tires into one. It’s standard procedure when you purchase new tires to discuss whether you need all-weather, off-road, or snow tires. The eMembrane all but eliminates that.
Tread design on any tire is key to its performance; increasing traction, whisking moisture away, preventing ice buildup. The tread design of the eMembrane includes features that cause the tread to expand when driven at high speeds to increase traction and grip on the road, while at lower speeds in reduces its contact with the ground to reduce friction and increase fuel efficiency. An LED operation system is installed in the sidewall to help control the range. This will allow drivers to traverse through many different types of road conditions without changing tires or sacrificing performance.
Although the tire is still in the concept phase it has already won 2 awards. First the 2013 iF Concept Design Award and then the Winner Label from Red Dot Award, a competition for new and innovative concepts. Tire technology is rising to new levels and providing advanced, more environmentally friendly options.