Concept Tires of the Future

Hankook Tire Co. is giving us a glimpse regarding tires of the future. At the 2017 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in Seoul Korea, Hankook presented some outrageous and fantastical tire designs for the future. Tires have been getting more dynamic and technologically enhanced year after year with scientific approaches that improve elements from winter traction to lowering your overall cost on gasoline. But Hankook is thinking bigger by tackling what steps tire manufacturers will take next. Check out Hankook’s five conceptual winning designs that may help change the future as it pertains to mobility.

Shiftrac – A Finalist at this year’s 2017 IDEA Conference, the Shiftrac is a hyper-responsive tire that is designed to shift and provide strong cornering and nimble lane changes. Designed specifically for police cars, enabling them to maneuver more easily among busy city streets, the Shiftrac tire is ideal for chasing down bad guys. The design is intended for the wheel to push outward during tight turns or lane changes, allowing more rubber to continually meet the road. So bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?


Flexup – Winning bronze at the 2017 IDEA Conference, Hankook’s Flexup is the perfect way to zip around a city. This one-person vehicle with one tire has the ability to be agile enough to engineer tight spots, easily handle speed bumps, and even climb stairs! Ideal for cities with limited space, this vehicle-sharing program and dynamic shape-shifting tire could let people get around quickly and efficiently. The tread itself has features that expand and contract and allows the Flexup to safely reach a speed of about 20mph. The future is coming one Hankook tire at a time.

Magfloat ­– The Magfloat uses magnetic field extension and rotation principle for mobility where circular movement is used around a center point of rotation. Resembling a skateboard or a hoverboard, the Magfloat travels at a slower pace (12mph) than the Flexup, but is just as effective for city travel.

Intended for one single rider, it can be used indoors as well as outdoors. For both fun and function, the Magfloat could be your mode of transport around the city. Let’s hope Hankook is making it more foolproof than this…

iPlay – Among the cutting-edge concepts is the iPlay, a one-person sitting device with two oversized wheels on either side. The idea is to optimize urban car sharing with a smaller, more dynamic way of travel. The design gives the iPlay enough play due to its flexible angled wheel structure, so slowing down when turning at higher speeds is not a necessity. It kind of looks like a one-rider rollercoaster car, but way more fun if you ask me (see video clip of all five below).

Autobine – The final winner at the IDEA conference was an autonomous bus concept that expands and contracts, depending on the number of passengers with automatically attached tires to support the weight. It detects on its own the weight and the intelligent wheels adapt accordingly. This will help with congestion within the city to allow for more room when the bus isn’t carrying many passengers. Not to mention, fewer tires means fewer emissions. This smart autonomous bus could revolutionize the public transportation system around the globe.

See all the tires of the future in action! These design innovations are from the brilliant forward-thinking minds at Hankook Tire Co. and may lay the groundwork for future transport. Sure, it may look like a video game now, but real life is just around the corner, and you can be sure we’re going take that corner hard and fast with the best tires possible.