Tyre Cell by Jiang Tao, China

2006: California.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Jiang Tao was born in Hubei, YiChang, China in 1981. He entered Wuhan University of Technology’s Automobile College in 1999 and received his bachelor’s degree in 2003. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Wuhan University of Technology in automobile body design and powertrain. He is interested in culture, design and computer graphics.


In the past, horses were widely used for transportation. You could ride horses or use one or several horses for drawing carriages. So horses became a product for transportation.

My design is named tyre cell, it is also a kind of product used for vehicle transportation. It looks like a ball and contains one tire, a brake device, a pair of electric driving motors, a suspension, a tire rotating system (similar to tank turret) and a control unit. It can be considered an integrated single wheel chassis. Tyre cell uses electricity to work and is controlled by a vehicle computer using an electricity signal, so it’s clean and has zero emission.

Tyre cell is general-purposed built and can be mounted on a motorcycle or a car. This makes the manufacture maintain and upgrade the vehicle more convenient.

The vehicle body that fits the tyre cell is chassis-less body. Without a traditional chassis, the body has two kinds of sockets, a tyre cell socket and an electricity energy socket. Like using a dry battery, the tyre cell can be easily mounted in or taken out from the socket. The Energy socket is for placing an electric energy device such as a storage battery, a fuel cell stack or an electric cable and its position and size lies on the type of the vehicle.

If a car has several tyre cells, a central control unit is necessary. According to the driver’s demand and vehicle running condition, the central control unit gives order to the control unit in each tyre cell. Each tyre cell does their corresponding job, such as accelerating or rotating the wheel. So tyre cells can cooperate with each other.

Tyre cell vehicle are nimbler because the wheels in the tyre cell can do 360 degrees rotation, this brings a convenience in crowded downtown area.