Interesting article last week about tires – Bridgestone is working on a new prototype which reduces the noise produced from rolling tires.
Cars make a lot of noise. The causes are engine, tires and wind: up to 20 mph engine noise dominates, if you are going really fast (well over 100mph) wind dominates, and for the wide range in-between tires make the most noise. If you take engine noise out of the equation by driving a hybrid or an electric car, pretty much all of the noise pollution comes from the tires. You don’t realize how noisy and intrusive driving can be until the engine sound goes away and you clearly hear the drone of the tires.
You can follow the link to read about the technology Bridgestone utilizes to tamp down the sounds that tires put out. It gets you thinking though: as we migrate from internal combustion to electric vehicles, what else will change as a result? In the past I would on occasion be annoyed by car noise, usually when I couldn’t hear a great song while on the highway. But I pretty much figured car noise was a fait accompli, unless I drove a Rolls or something. It is exciting to think that we can not only get rid of engine noise, but possibly tire noise as well. What great promise for the future and a cleaner, less intrusive environment.