Innovations every day are becoming available for the public, and one of the latest ones on the market are re-tractable tire studs. Yes, push a button and you have studs on your car, another push of that button and you're no longer damaging the roads.
Tires with studs are used in many areas where heavy snowfall and heavy ice is a regular occurrence during the winter months. The problem is when the snow and ice disappear during warmer days the damage to the road surface from studded tires is immense. Plenty of research has gone on concerning the use of tires with studs and damage on road surfaces. Repairs amount to billions of dollars in tax funds for the Department of transportation that could've been used in building new roads instead of resurfacing ones that haven't lasted but a few years.
In 2008, a South Carolina, USA, based company, Q. tires, has developed tires with retractable studs, reminiscent of the gadgets seen on early spy films. Q. tires calls its new invention, Celsius Tires, and really feel they are a safe way to save lives and the roads.
Their technology deploys studs on demand by extending the studs to the surface of the tread when needed and retracting them below the tread surface when no longer required. A secondary air chamber installed within the tire when inflated pushes the studs to the surface. The air in the main chamber is forced into the secondary chamber, putting pressure on the studs when a control switch (RF signal) in the interior of your car is activated. When retraction of the studs is required, the air is expelled via a valve attached to the second chamber. The amount of air is small enough that you'll only need to add air to your tires after 20 to 30 times of retracting the studs.
The biggest obstacle Q. tires is facing is getting laws passed to allow these tires to be used where normal tires with studs are restricted or forbidden. Most existing laws designate a period during the winter months when consumers may use studs on their vehicle.
Because these are retractable, they're very advantageous to skiers, frequent travelers, and can be used as mud and snow tires on a regular basis. 12 states have already passed laws that allow retractable studs in tires all year and a major US retailer, Costco, has stopped selling studded tires to promote the "environmentally responsible" retractable ones.
Many consumers are going to look forward to their new James-Bond-style retractable studs coming in the winter of 2008. Q. tires is approaching other independent tire dealers in addition to Costco to expand their distribution and allow more people to have the option of needing only one set of tires for year-round use.
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