Two weeks after winning a Red Dot accolade, Kumho has been honoured with the iF Design Award 2021 in the Professional Concept discipline. Unlike the Red Dot award, which was for a current product, the iF award recognises the technological merits of two highly innovative Kumho concept tyres, the e-NIMF and the e-TOPs.
In line with its transition towards smart mobility, Kumho has researched the development of cutting-edge tyres to lead the future market. The company said winning this award will hopefully serve as the first step towards success in that initiative.
The e-NIMF (eco-friendly, no inflation, and maintenance-free) is a non-pneumatic tyre which, unlike its conventional equivalents, will not suffer from periodic or catastrophic deflation thanks to spokes that remove the need for air, a shear band that transmits the vehicle’s forces to the road, and a tread that maintains contact with the road surface. Airless tyres offer excellent driving stability, plus considerable cost and environmental benefits, as they can be used almost indefinitely simply by replacing the tread as required. A key element of the e-NIMF is its spoke structure, which was developed through super-computer simulations and ensures performance levels equivalent to pneumatic tyres. An aesthetic by-product is the ability for consumers to choose their own spoke colours.
The revolutionary e-TOPs (eco-friendly topology-optimised and puncture-less tyre) is a hybrid product with the potential for use on autonomous cars. Its airless upper structure of spokes and tread protect the tyre from foreign matter, while the lower, less vulnerable section contains a degree of air. This mutually complementary composition results in an equivalent performance to conventional products, while avoiding the typical air loss associated with them.
“In response to the changing mobility trends such as a shift toward autonomous driving, we have been striving to develop innovative technologies,” said Cho Man-sik, Head of Kumho Tire R&D Division. “Our two winning entries of the iF Design Award had already received the IDEA Design Award, and I believe these feats are a testament to our future-oriented design and technological capabilities.”
The iF awards are organised by the International Forum Design of Germany. Along with the Red Dot and IDEA awards, the 68-year-old accolades are recognised as one of the top three design prizes in the world. Winners are selected via a comprehensive screening process that considers design excellence, innovation, environmental friendliness, quality, functionality, and convenience.