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Just two weeks after winning the latest of its many Red Dot accolades, Kumho has now been honoured with the equally prestigious iF Design Award 2021 in the Professional Concept discipline. Unlike the Red Dot accolade which was for a current product, the iF one 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 been conducting much research into the development of cutting-edge tyres with which to lead the future market, and 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 those of 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 punctureless 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 the threat of foreign matter, while the lower, less vulnerable section contains a degree of air. This mutually complementary composition results in an equivalent performance to that of conventional products, while avoiding the typical air loss associated with them.
Dubbed the Oscars of the design world, the awards are organised by the International Forum Design of Germany. Along with the Red Dot and IDEA awards, the 68-year-old accolades are recognized as one of the top three design prizes in the world. Winners are selected via a comprehensive screening process that takes into account design excellence as well as innovation, environmental friendliness, quality, functionality and
“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.”