Goodyear’s unnamed concept builds on a standard SUV tire with a large central groove to improve rolling resistance by having a reduced contact patch with the road. But as you can see from the thread, this is strictly a concept with intention of being put into production. Yet.
Not only does the groove improve fuel economy and tire noise, it’s also designed to take large quantities of water and mud away from the tire’s contact patch during wet conditions. Removing some of the rubber also makes it lighter than conventional SUV tires, which helps in shredding away some of the unsprung weight without losing too much of the grip.
Despite how it looks, Goodyear’s concept does not put two small tires together on one rim, but builds the double contact patch tire on a single SUV tire structure. It’s also using twin air chambers (one at each side) interconnected through a valve system that allows the tire to continue to roll even after a puncture of one of them.
This is only one of many concepts that they are working on at the moment, but if it can make heavy SUVs more efficient in the future, it’s definitely worth pushing forward.