Rubber. The amazing material that has found its way into our lives taking us to new places and keeping us on the move round the clock. Isn’t nature amazing? It provides us with a lot but in return we tend to abuse it. It never talks back. But some day it will.
Tires, what do we do without them? They are our movers. Planes will not take off, neither will your car move. The roads will be empty without them. The entire infrastructure which we have built for ourselves may crumble or come to a screeching halt. Just imagine a day without tires. Tires or Tyres, it’s what meets the road. An average vehicle has 4 tires. Now multiply that with the billions upon billion of vehicles that are currently running plus factor in the new vehicles that are being sold each day across the entire World. We are still yet to take into consideration the billions of cars which are decommissioned and heading to the dumps. Each of those come with tires too. Imagine the plight of all those tires and the plight of our environment.
We see 2 wheelers, four wheelers, trucks with 18 plus wheels on the highway each and ever second of the day. Tires are designed to withstand all types of road conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, dry, ice, off road etc. Then there are specialized tires to transport entire homes, carry heavy loads etc, etc. The air inflated within them creates sort of a cushioning effect much like soft cushions on your feet. In addition we have shock absorbers which are giant springs meant to take up shocks, absorbing them and offering us a smooth ride.
Why not incorporate the spring into the very rim design and take out the air? This might be a move in the right direction. This may avoid the need to dispose off the tires or fix them when we get a flat. Thus we can eliminate flat tire from our vocabulary. It may also help eliminate this situation all together. A tire which is solid but sort of bouncing rubber consistency may do the trick. As new materials come into development we may not even have the need to replace any tires. This will help save the environment. Most tires are being incinerated leading to massive pollution at toxic levels. This is part of the same air that we breathe into us to survive. Global air is the same throughout the entire World. Whether you are In New Delhi, New York, New Amsterdam or in New Castle, the air we breathe is exactly the same. Ocean and air currents help the flow of air and water in order to maintain the global climate and regulating its temperature.
Roads may also be covered in hardened rubber to increase the grip between rubber to rubber in areas with favorable climatic conditions. But in areas associated with weather extremes other options may need to be sought. From the invention of the wheel to the industrial age, wheels and tires have helped us in transforming all facets of our lives. Instead of doing the same thing over and over again just because it works does not make sense. Time to make change by having the willingness to change, change itself.
Tires are still hugging the roads as it did 100 years back. Why have we not changed anything? Have we become so comfortable with status quo that we are scared to allow new innovation to creep in and take over our existing comfort zone? When are we going to come out of our bubble, explore new things and bring in new innovations?
I think it’s time to take off the ground and see the New World with no tires, roads, rails, bridges, tunnels or highways. Time to take off the ground and travel without friction of any sort. This applies to ocean travel as well. We should be hovering over the ocean surface by now and not float on it. We could still travel 1 feet above the ground, 30 feet above the ocean waves or continue to soar high at 36,000 feet and beyond. In the end we will still be moving much more efficiently than the current norm. Only the speed may differ but we would definitely be travelling at greater speeds with the tires not touching the road or even better with no tires on and NO Tires to dispose off.
When we do become comfortable with the norm or the current situation, things will begin to settle down permanently preventing further new innovations to start, grow and mature. We may have many chances in our lives, but now is the time to become frictionless by having the courage to leave the ground and get off it.
Please comment your thoughts below.