GENEVA - Goodyear Tire & Rubber showed a new type of tire technology it calls “Air Maintenance Technology” (AMT) at the Geneva International Motor Show. The tire company said AMT will keep tire inflation at optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps, electronics, or driver intervention.

According to Goodyear, AMT will help ensure the optimum tire pressure is maintained and, as a result, could mean substantial savings at the fuel pump. Underinflated tires result in a 2.5 to 3.3% decrease in fuel economy, according to government and industry research, so properly inflated tires would improve fuel economy. In addition, underinflated tires also affect vehicle handling, as inflation level is key to ensuring a tire has enough tread touching the road.

Goodyear said that last year the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technology awarded a $1.5 million grant for research, development, and demonstration of the AMT system for commercial truck tire to be conducted at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio. Goodyear also successfully received a grant from the Luxemburg government for research and development of an AMT system for consumer tires. That work has been conducted at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg.

The company said it's too early to say when tires using this technology will be available on the market.