By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It can be a real chore to keep your car’s tires inflated properly — even though doing so can improve your fuel economy. But one company is working on a solution that would make stopping at the air pump a thing of the past.

Goodyear calls it Air Maintenance Technology. “Essentially, the tire becomes the pump,” says Kerry Christopher, who works in research and development with the company.

“There are really no electronics involved in this whatsoever — it’s just a matter of as the tire rolls down the road, it flexes, and a small amount of air would be pushed into the tire as it’s needed.”

“Forty percent of drivers never check the air in their tires.” Over time, and because of temperature changes, the pressure can fall below what it’s supposed to be. That can have a negative impact on your wallet at the gas pump — as well as on your safety, and the life of your tires.

Christopher says their innovation would remove those worries, “So as you drive down the road, air is slowly pushed into the tire, and there’s a regulator that knows the pressure amount that should be set and keeps it at that rate.”

Goodyear’s been awarded a federal grant to work up a production model, but it’s not known when drivers will be able to score new wheels.

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060

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