Michelin’s Vision for Cardboard Tires

September 12, 2017


When we think of packaging, we think of vehicles. It’s hard not to!  Even going beyond the obvious logistics implications, we’ve seen a lot of cool intersections of cars and packaging: take for instance how we boxed up a Jeep, or how auto-makers have toyed with introducing corrugated cars! Today on the Ernest blog we’re taking the logical next step and looking at cardboard tires that might transform the way we drive in the future.

Michelin recently introduced a project called Vision, which is a wheel/tire combination made from renewable materials including – you guessed it – cardboard. The concept envisions a world where getting a flat is a thing of the past; Vision tires are airless, while still completely load-bearing and sturdy.

michelin cardboard tires

Photo: Michelin

Michelin Exec VP of R&D Terry Gettys explains the endeavor toward Vision tires as one of necessity: “We need to get better use out of materials and have lighter-weight design.” Aside from being completely biodegradable, the materials used for Vision tires would allow drivers to modify them via 3D printing to suit different road conditions.

It takes a lot of work to literally reinvent the wheel, but Michelin’s vision could bring a lot of innovation to a product that many have assumed was perfected thousands of years ago. As fellow innovators, we know the thrill of bringing new ideas to the table, and we have a few designs that would be a natural fit for cardboard wheels!

Take for instance our corrugated no-pedal bicycle and skateboard! Ernest’s Cardboard Chaos series highlights how Ernest drives innovation in areas where packaging usually isn’t thought of. Check out more awesome ideas from our design team on our Cardboard Chaos site to see Ernest’s commitment to Moving Packaging Forward.