Self Inflating Tires Do Just That

Illustration for article titled Self Inflating Tires Do Just That

If Coda's claims are true, their Self Inflating Tires in development now seem like an inevitable future for car owners. The simple mechanism works with classic principles of a peristaltic pump: a tube is placed in each tire's sidewall. As it's run over, the tube's compression forces air in (filling the tire). A cut-off makes sure the tire doesn't explode. That's it. Sound too good to be true? Maybe. But having all tires on the road at optimal inflation could lead to a huge gas/energy savings every year (and as our friends at Jalopnik point out, it's pretty good for safety as well). So our ears are perked waiting for more information. (Note: the choice for no hyphen was that of the manufacturer, not our editors.) [product via jalopnik]

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SIT is an integral tire component that uses atmospheric air to automatically inflate the tire while it is used. This ensures maintenance-free, constant tire pressure over the lifetime of the tire.

Sounds like magic to me. How long until the magic item that is constantly adding pressure to said tire runs out of air? And how would you know that it was out? (A flat tire?)

Don't get me wrong. Anything that keeps tire pressure constant is absolutely wonderful, even if it eventually runs out. I would love to have this on my car, and it ultimately would be great for the environment if we all had it. I am just trying to understand at what point this new feature would fail, and how we would know.