It’s unknown if and when the technology will end up on new models. The automakers said they’ll consider mass production of the system after more research and development, testing and regulatory reviews.  -  IMAGE: Pexels/Skylar Kang

It’s unknown if and when the technology will end up on new models. The automakers said they’ll consider mass production of the system after more research and development, testing and regulatory reviews.

IMAGE: Pexels/Skylar Kang

Hyundai and Kia say they’ve developed a technology that will integrate snow chain-type equipment into their vehicles that can be deployed at the touch of a button.

The South Korean automakers says the patent-pending feature employs a shape-memory alloy inside the wheel and tire that returns to its original shape after each use via an electric current.

They say the technology, which includes modules that stick out of the wheel and tire when activated, will improve safety by eliminating a tedious, time-consuming process of putting snow chains on tires when winter road conditions are otherwise unsafe.

It’s unknown if and when the technology will end up on new models. The automakers said they’ll consider mass production of the system after more research and development, testing and regulatory reviews.

The innovation, which is patent-pending in both the U.S. and South Korea, includes radial grooving at regular intervals with the shape-memory-alloy modules inside the channels that protrude upon deployment.

The modules could further serve as notice to replace a vehicle’s tires when they’re worn down to the level of the modules, making it easy to spot the wear, the carmakers said.

Hyundai and Kia operate independently, though Hyundai is Kia’s parent company.

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Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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