For drivers in very snowy places, winter is time to put snow chains on car tires.
Let’s pause here so that some of these drivers can groan.
This is a chore that’s often done grudgingly.
Even if it’s necessary, it’s neither easy nor fun.
But a new concept from two automakers could change that, because they want to put a kind of snow chain-like device right into the tires.
The idea comes from Hyundai and Kia, and the official name for the device they dreamed up is the Shape Memory Alloy Integrated Snow Chain Technology.
(Try saying that five times fast.)
Their demo animation shows a car tire that looks sort of like a pizza, cut into slices.
And embedded in between the sections of tire are these small paddles.
When there’s ice and snow on the road and the tire tracks aren’t getting any traction, the driver can push a button and the paddles will push out past the surface of tire, acting like snow chains.
When the weather is more driver-friendly, another push of the button and the paddles retract.
The idea here is that drivers wouldn’t have to go through the complicated rigamarole of securing actual snow chains on tires in wintry weather.
All that said, it’s important to note that up to this point, this is only an idea.
Developing, testing and installing this concept on actual tires is a whole other thing.
And as the auto news website The Drive reported, it’s a thing that might be a long way off.
Paddles embedded in tires would be expensive to produce, they would add a lot of weight to the wheels, and they would likely wear down each time they’re deployed.
Still, maybe there are some drivers out there who are willing to put up with all those downsides just to have one winter where they don’t have to install snow chains?
St. Charles, Missouri is now home to the St. Charles Soda Museum and Arcade!
The arcade is housed in the basement.
Above ground, you’ll find a collection of vintage soda advertising that owner Tom Smith collected for nearly four decades.
The question is, can you get a soda while you’re there?
Image via Hyundai