According to Transparent Market Research, a global market research firm, the global market for winter tires is estimated to grow at an annual average growth rate of 5.9 percent to reach $35.65 billion by 2029. Some states and provinces in the United States and Canada require drivers to use winter tires during the winter season.
Traditional snow chains, made of metal chains, polymer composites, or fabric, require drivers to get out of the car and manually install chains. Such installing processes take a lot of time and it is not easy for inexperienced people. Sometimes, people give up on installing chains on their tires and wait for help. If installed improperly, chains could get tangled up on the axle of the car and damage it.
Hyundai Motor and Kia unveiled a new innovative tire technology that uses shape memory alloy as an integrated snow chain. The alloy protrudes to provide extra traction to the tire when it receives an electrical signal. During normal driving the memory alloy wires will remain hidden inside the tire and when the driver signals the tire to deploy snow chains, wires will protrude.
Hyundai said that the technology is patent-pending and the U.S. branch of Hyundai and Kia plan to mass-produce the innovative tire after further technological development. "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," Hyundai's Advanced Chassis Development Team Head Park Joon-mo said in a statement.
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