"Why not ... use the space within the tire to put as many components as possible, including all the suspension, and make it active, and put in an electric motor, and even eliminate the need for a mechanical transmission?" managing partner Edouard Michelin said. "We do not intend to be a car company, but we have some interesting technologies we can make available."
The Hy-Light was developed by with Switzerland's national research laboratory, the Paul Scherrer Institut, where some 1200 scientists, engineers and technicians work on everything from particle physics to fuel cells. The Hy-Light is a front-wheel-drive vehicle with traction motors in the wheels powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that also supplies electrical power for the four-wheel chassis stability system.
Michelin says Hi-Light is an example of the non-polluting vehicle-it runs on hydrogen produced by electrolysis using solar cells- which might be practical by around 2020. The Concept is a gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, with its small gasoline engine generating the electricity used to turn its wheels and to run its various suspension systems.
It looks like something built from an Erector set, and features active wheel technology at all four corners. The vehicle has fully active chassis management technology and can be made to lean into a corner or to move up and down.
A wheel equipped with Michelin's active wheel technology appears from the outside to be a standard wheel and tire package. But on the inside, there are springs and electric motors and other electromechanical components and connections, all packaged within the circumference of the wheel and tire.
Electric motors not only turn the wheels, but can be used to slow and stop them, so traditional disc or drum brakes might eventually be eliminated, or at least reduced to smaller, redundant systems. And by using electric motors to turn the wheels, large and heavy transmissions and differentials become obsolete.
With Michelin's active wheel system, vehicle designers could become more creative because suspension components that now intrude on interior space would be repackaged within each of the vehicle's four wheels, creating more room for people and cargo.
"Anything that makes anything smaller is good for me," said Volvo designer Orjan Sterner, who attended Challenge Bibendum. Sterner said designers would appreciate a suspension system with "nothing sticking up or sticking out."
- Michelin pushes tech envelope @ detnews.com
Динамическая индивидуальная подвеска, комбинированные водородные двигатели или топливные элементы, плюс микротурбинные генераторы на дизтопливе, плюс стойкая механика в шине — и получаются Smart Wheels Стивенсона, которые превращают идущее на них движущееся средство в адаптирующуюся к среде систему.
Совместить это с шинами пониженного давления, и миниатюрный вездеход, с распределённым по колёсам движущим моментом, готов. Дешевле, проходимее, экологичнее. Но основная мысль, конечно, именно на использовании пространства внутри колёс и внутри шин для того, чтобы уменьшить „бесполезный“, уходящий под двигатель и механику, вес и объём автомобиля.