In the past few decades the way in which people test the tyre and how far it has worn has not changed too much.
There is always the old 20p test, championed by TyreSafe – a not for profit organisation dedicated to improving the awareness of tyre safety – and you can buy tyre depth gauges from a number of motoring outlets.
However, award-winning designers Gao Fenglin and Zhou Buyi have recently been working on a more sophisticated – and quite frankly more aesthetically pleasing – method.
Their high-tech solution has been named the Discolor Tyre. The premise is fairly straight forward, and if picked up by the industry, could lead to colourful tyres being the norm on the streets.
As the tyre wears, a layer of bright orange rubber, which is in place underneath the black layer, is slowly exposed. Once the tread depth reaches a certain depth the bright under layer will show through, thus letting the vehicle owner know that their tyres are in need of replacement.
Not only will this layer of coloured rubber act as a useful indication of that a tyre’s tread is worn, but it will also aid motorists in spotting tears or even punctures.
When asked about the practicality of the tyre, the pair have said that the Discolor tyre should reach the 12,000 mile mark before the coloured layer becomes apparent – obviously this would alter depending on the driving style and/or rubber compound of the top layer.
In a recent article on cars.aol.co.uk, a spokesperson for TyreSafe, was quoted as saying, “anything that raises awareness of tyre safety is a good thing. Drivers tend not to understand tyre technology or they don’t want to know. They fit and forget.
“But tread depth is just one of a number of key issues when it comes to tyre safety. There isn’t a substitute for getting down and dirty, checking the state of your tyres regularly – particularly with the current state of UK roads.”