In 1963 Goodyear introduced illuminated tires

In 1963 Goodyear presented tires made from urethane, the same material used to make skateboard wheels. According to History Garage, the tires were also illuminated with “18 tiny bulbs the driver could activate, illuminating the surrounding area with an even wash or flashes of light.”

Unfortunately, the tires never went into production.

Goodyear molded the tires in specialized molds, then heated them to 250 degrees. The end result was a tire which was built more like a thick mesh net. They were tubeless tires even and performed well up to 65 MPH.

The problems turned up in rain or when braking hard. Any skateboarder can tell you what a hard sideways slide does to urethane wheels. You get a flat spot where it melts.

The tires also had one other negative effect. They were so distracting, other drivers stopped driving or worse, drove through stop lights when they debuted them.

With time Goodyear may have been able to make a hybrid with rubber or improved the Neothane to withstand the heat, but the cost to investigate further was not worth the risk.

via boingboing



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