Two products that have emerged in the automotive industry in 2012 have been included in the list of Time‘s ‘Best Inventions of the Year 2012’. Goodyear Self-inflating Tires and Tesla Model S have a select entourage: the $2.5 billion Curiosity Rover (exploring planet Mars, landed in Gale Crater in August)and NASA’s Z-1 Space Suit.
The annual rankings of innovation in all areas, conducted at the end of each year by the reputed American magazine Time, includes in the 2012 year edition two new appearances from the automotive world. They are produced by two companies from different areas of the industry, but both come to change the perception that customers have towards them.
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S (with a price of $49,900 in U.S. for the entry level), the second electric model from the American car company, managed to impress the Time journalists by differences in autonomy, power, technology and consumption compared with other electric models on the market.
“This electric four-door sedan has the lines of a Jaguar, the ability to zip for 265 miles (426 km) on one charge—that’s the equivalent of 89 mpg (2.6 L/100 km)—and touchscreen controls for everything from GPS navigation to adjusting the suspension,” according to the Time editors.
Please note that the Tesla Model S manages a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.5 seconds and can run at a maximum speed of 110 mph (177 km/h).
The Tesla S Performance version raises at 4.4 seconds for 0-60 mph (96 km/h) and a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h), but the fuel efficiency numbers remain identical to the “classic” version.
The cheapest Tesla Model S costs $49,900 dollars on the U.S. market, respecting nearly at the limit Elon Musk’s original promise. Unfortunately, the announced price includes the premium granted by the U.S. government in the amount of $7,500, offered to purchase an electric vehicle. In comparison, Ford Focus Electric costs of $39,995 in United States.
Goodyear Self-inflating Tire
Goodyear Air Maintenance Technology was first presented at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Hanover 2012, in Germany. The system refers to tires that can regulate their own pressure (while driving), to the extent that there isn’t a flat tire. The system helps maintain the optimal tire pressure for a long period of time, reducing fuel consumption and tire wear along with improved handling and safety level offered.
The system includes a pressure regulator, which opens when the pressure drops below a certain level. The air released passes through a tube that is placed over the entire circumference of the tire, the tube being tight by the tire when the latter rotates, thus inflating it. Once the correct pressure has been reached, the pressure regulator closes and the tire operates normally.
The two innovations are part of a list of 25 ‘Best Inventions of the Year 2012’, among the other 23 are the OraQuick Home HIV Test, Nike Flyknit Racer shoe, Sony RX100 Digital Camera, the Switchblade Drone, Element 113, or the Deepsea Challenger Submarine, to name just a few.
Tesla Model S and Goodyear Self-inflating Tire via Time