(Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors)
TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - They're re-inventing the wheel -- literally.
Michelin and General Motors have partnered up to create a new "airless" wheel that would replace traditional car tires.
The Uptis Prototype, or "Unique Puncture-proof Tire System," is meant to eliminate the risk of blowouts and flat tires.
The new tire has "spokes" in the middle and no sides, and the two companies say it will require "near-zero levels of maintenance."
According to GM, the new kind of tire is also better for the environment, since it uses fewer raw materials.
The company said the Uptis tire would also reduce the number of punctured or damaged tires that are thrown away before reaching the end of their life cycle.
Michelin said that 200 million tires are thrown out each year because of damage and irregular wear caused by improper tire pressure.
GM will begin testing the Uptis tires on public roads later in 2019 on a fleet of Chevrolet Bolt vehicles in Michigan. The new tire could be available for purchase as early as 2024.