ITEC and Tire Society Keynoters Take Over Tire Week in Akron
Tires are complex marvels of engineering.
“(The average tire) contains on the order of a hundred materials and 15 or 20 components. These are complicated structures,” Tracey Norberg said.
But for the general public, a tire is simply what gets them and their vehicles from point A to point B.
And part of the job of the US Tire Manufacturers Association is to educate the world about tires and their innovations, said Norberg, senior vice president and general counsel for the USTMA, in her keynote presentation on day two of the ITEC.
Because when people get it, policy makers get it, and it helps drive change in the industry.
“We’re part of that bigger picture, and making sure we can drive innovation in the tire industry really helps to enable that whole story,” Norberg said.
USTMA has built the tire industry’s reputation for durability and innovation, and because of this, has entered into partnerships with many government agencies, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, among others, to help pass legislation that supports the industry.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (HR 3684), signed into law Nov. 15, 2021, is the most recent example, Norberg said, which included several key wins for the industry, such as management storm water with Rubber Modified Asphalt (RMA) or RMA eligible Emerging Technologies and Healthy Streets program.
Environmental and regulatory perspectives help drive tire innovation, she said. And innovation helps the tire industry not only succeed, but also be sustainable.
Because when a tire is durable, it is safer, and so is its driver.
“It’s important for us to take a step back and think about why we’re doing all of this. We’re doing this for the rest of society and our families who need to move around in a safe and sustainable way,” said Norberg. “It’s important for us to keep this mindset that we’re not doing this just to create the next fancy rubber or the best tyre. We’re doing it for the benefit of society.”