Every vehicle owner knows that if you own a car, you’re going to end up forking over some money here and there to get it repaired or serviced. You will eventually need to replace the battery, tires, windshield wipers, oil, and more. These costs can add up quickly, especially when it’s time to throw on a new set of tires.

Tire shopping isn’t easy. There are all sorts of different treads and sizes, not to mention tires for different conditions…there are even tires that can enhance your car’s overall performance. But one thing is for certain, that new set of tires is going to cost you a pretty penny.  What if you could just print on new tread as you go? That idea actually may not be as far-fetched as you think thanks to popular tire manufacturer, Michelin.

Striving to create what they refer to as a “tire of the future,” Michelin has developed The Vision: a 3D-printed tire that solves all the problems tire owners face. Thanks to the intricately woven lattice structure, The Vision is entirely puncture-proof. In fact, The Vision is both a wheel and tire in one, eliminating the need for petroleum-based rubber that would one day end up in a landfill. Plus, without air, the tire is no longer susceptible to safety hazards like low tire pressure, deflation, or blowouts.

Made using organic compounds like orange zest or molasses to create synthetic elastomers, The Vision is the perfect representation of where technology is taking us. Michelin’s vision for The Vision? “You can go to a gas or weigh station to pick a new tread pattern and material and get it printed directly onto your tires. If you need a different style because you’re going to a new driving environment (snow or sand, for instance), you could even get recommendations for patterns and components based on your destination.”

Although it’s not available to the public yet, The Vision shows a promising future for where the tire industry is headed. By eliminating petroleum-based rubber from their manufacturing process and creating a reusable alternative, companies like Michelin are helping reduce our carbon footprint – creating a better future for us all.