Hyundai Patents Shape Memory Alloy Integrated Snow Chain Technology for Safer Winter Driving

Hyundai invents 'adaptive' snow tyre with inbuilt snow chains

## Getting a Grip: Hyundai Patents New Snow Chain Technology

– Hyundai Motor Group has developed a new technology called Shape Memory Alloy Integrated Snow Chain Technology
– The technology uses retractable rods within tyre grooves to provide extra grip on snow and ice
– The rods can extend to form J-shaped hoops over the tyre tread, similar to the paddles of a water wheel

Winter driving can be a challenge, especially when it comes to navigating snow and ice. While there are several solutions out there, Hyundai Motor Group has come up with a unique and innovative technology that could revolutionize winter driving: Shape Memory Alloy Integrated Snow Chain Technology.

This new technology, still in the patenting process, utilizes retractable rods within the tyre grooves to provide extra grip on snowy and icy surfaces. Imagine a series of J-shaped metal rods that run up the sides of the wheel, forming hoops over the top of the tyre and down to the wheel rim on the inside. When these rods are in the extended position, the tyre resembles an old-fashioned water wheel with paddles.

The idea is that the tyre and rod system work together, with specially designed grooves on the tyre that allow the rods to retract when not needed. The shape memory alloy, located at the tip of each J-shaped rod, deforms upon receiving an electrical signal, raising the rod into the snow chain position. When the signal is received again, the shape memory alloy resumes its original shape, retracting the rod into the groove below the tyre’s surface.

While it may seem like a complex system, the benefits are clear. Drivers who live in areas where snow chains are a regular necessity could benefit greatly from this technology. The ease of use compared to traditional snow chains, which can be fiddly and time-consuming to install, makes the Shape Memory Alloy Integrated Snow Chain Technology a promising solution.

In countries like Germany and Sweden, it is a legal requirement to use winter tyres during the winter months. However, in the UK, there are no specific laws regarding snow chains or studded tyres. Any tyre-related defect that damages the road is illegal, but non-road-damaging commercial devices like snow socks are allowed. It remains to be seen whether Hyundai’s new technology will meet the requirements and regulations to be approved for use on UK roads.

In conclusion, Hyundai Motor Group’s Shape Memory Alloy Integrated Snow Chain Technology could be a game-changer for winter driving. The retractable rod system provides extra grip on snowy and icy surfaces, offering an alternative to traditional snow chains. While the technology is still in development and patenting, it has the potential to make winter driving safer and more convenient for drivers living in harsh winter climates.
Original article:https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/technology/hyundai-adaptive-snow-tyre-inbuilt-snow-chains

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