This is a revolutionary new type of tyre/wheel combination (hence the name) that does not require inflating with air. The cushioning effect of air in traditional tyres is provided instead by the wheel's design and material, consisting of energy-absorbing polyurethane spokes. In essence, the wheel crumples when it goes over a bump, then regains it's original shape. Read all about it in, as ever, good ol' Wikipedia.
I found out about it from a friend at the Embassy, who sent me some photocopied photos of the tweel being tested on a Audi saloon car. I thought we were being ultra "with-it" in making a new discovery, only to have my illusions shattered when I Googled the word "Tweel", to find that the concept has been around for nearly two years already!
Still a few years off from becoming an option on passenger cars, the Tweel is currently in production and is being tested for use on new types of personal vehicle such as the IBOT stair-climbing wheelchair and on Segway's Concept Centaur four-wheel ATV.
iBot (right) and the Segway Centaur, spinning their Tweels
Imagine a world without flat tyres! It could be nearer than you think.