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Michelin, the French company famous for innovations in tire technology and epicurean discrimination, has just put out a press release claiming...


Michelin, the French company famous for innovations in tire technology and epicurean discrimination, has just put out a press release claiming they've "reinvented the wheel." The negative connotations of that particular phrase aside, their new Active Wheel System does seem potentially revolutionary. Basically, these wheels can power a vehicle themselves. The traditional engine becomes unnecessary and the car becomes just a shell with a stereo.From their press release:"...no more engine under the front or rear bonnet, no more traditional suspension system, and no more gearbox or transmission shaft thanks to the Michelin Active Wheel. That's because all essential components have been integrated into the wheel itself. Cars equipped with this integrated solution deliver an array of unique advantages. In a sense, the Michelin Active Wheel is an intelligent wheel capable of propelling cars without gasoline, while ensuring suspension and braking functions and providing unrivalled road handling and comfort.

The Michelin Active Wheel inaugurates a new era in road transportation in which a car's road, safety, energy and environmental performance achieve unprecedented levels. This is because of a miniature drive engine and an electrical suspension system incorporated into the wheel. These technologies developed by Michelin have made it possible to completely rethink the car."They've even mocked up an example of this rethunk car: the Venturi Volage.Along with the advantages they mention, it seems like separating a car's essential propulsion equipment from the chassis and body this way would make it much cheaper to assemble, repair, and otherwise modify cars.(Via Core 77)

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