Years ago we wrote about the Tweel airless tire. These were a revolutionary concept at the time, but the bugs probably never got worked out. They vibrated horribly over 50mph, and got really, really hot.
If you liked those, Goodyear’s new concept of spherical tires will really blow your mind. They basically created a rubber ball with tread on it. You may ask yourself, how exactly do you connect something like that to the car? You don’t. The car levitates above the tire by magnetism.
Because of the fact that the tires are now 4 spheres, the car has the ability to turn at literally any angle without actually turning the car. Imagine parallel parking just by moving directly to the left or right! I imagine much like any technology there are a ton of bugs to get worked out. In my mind I can see this doing away with things like traditional things like rack and pinion, tie rods, normal shocks and struts, and more. It computerizes most of the steering, not to mention the way that the drive train and transmission works would have to be completely redeveloped.
Maybe 8 years from now we’ll be still talking about it (with no real world usage). But for now we can dream. Here’s the Goodyear demo video of how spherical tires might work: