Tire shoots out retractable studs on the fly to improve winter grip
Finnish company shows concept tire that exposes metal studs at the push of a button for added traction in snow and ice.
With all the snow, ice and slush hitting roads across the country -- even parts of the Deep South, where drivers almost never have to deal with such conditions -- studded tires with small metal protrusions that improve traction on slippery road surfaces seem like a great idea.
But studs can quickly wear out paved roads, so not everyone is as thrilled by the idea, like in Oregon and Washington where they were just recently made legal. Some states -- and even sunny Puerto Rico -- have banned them outright, whereas others place restrictions on the use of studded tires, such as only allowing them on certain vehicles and only in winter.
Since studded tires are only necessary when roads are at their wintertime worst, the Finnish company Nokian, which developed the first winter tire in 1934, has come up with a concept that offers a compromise: retractable studs at the press of a button.
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The concept is based on Nokian's new Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV studded winter tire. An informational video about the tire shows a button on the steering wheel that the driver presses to expose the metal studs in inclement weather and presses again when the roads are clear of snow and ice to retract the studs. The company also said that the studs on all four tires raise and lower at the same time.
Whether the tires will ever come to market -- and whether state DOTs that ban metal studs will allow the Nokian concept on its roads -- remains to be seen. Whether your vehicle has studded or nonstudded tires, the most important element of staying safe on snow- and ice-covered roads doesn’t come down to rubber or metal or some combination of the two. It comes down to driving safely in winter conditions -- and slowing down.
I live in Alaska and I disagree with your statement that they don't reduce stopping distance on ice.
Now with that said, I don't waste my money on studs either. It isn't worth the hassle and expense of swapping them out every spring and fall. Rather than spending all that money on 2 sets of tires and either a second set of rims (per car), or spending $200 a year (2 cars) on mounting and balancing fees, my wife and I just don't drive like a moron when it's icy.
I save my moronic driving for summe rtime in my Corvette!
great idea as it wouldn't hurt roads when ice and snow on the ground and probbally save more lives out here and I think that's the most important ,roads can be fixed we pay enough for them,but you cant fix a person sliding on ice in a bad accident
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