Keeping tyres in tip-top condition may get a little easier in the next few years, thanks to technology invented by Goodyear that lets them self-inflate.

Under-inflated tyres are reckoned to result in anything up to a 3.3% decrease in fuel efficiency, increased tyre wear and potentially compromised vehicle handling, but a new invention from Goodyear should soon put a stop to all that.

Called Air Maintenance Technology (AMT), the invention is essentially a self-contained self-inflating tyre.

A miniaturised pump is built into the tyre and is powered by its rotation as the vehicle is driven. The result is a tyre that’s kept at a constant correct pressure, although it’s unclear if the system works in a similar way to the Czech SIT system demonstrated a few years ago.

[tl:movies size=450×335]

Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer, said:

“A tire that can maintain its own inflation is something drivers have wanted for many years. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging,” said Kihn. “This will become the kind of technological breakthrough that people will wonder how they ever lived without.”

Goodyear doesn’t give any information about when its self-inflating tyres might come to market, nor how much they might cost, but recent investment from the US government and the European Union have, it said, accelerated its development timetable.