Hyundai has previewed a tyres technology that produces ‘snow chains’ at the touch of a button, writes Brian Byrne.

The patented design uses so-called ‘shape memory’ alloy elements built into the tyre below the working surface, which extend beyond the tyre surface when an electric current is provided.

The idea could also act as an indictor of low tread depth for drivers who tend to let their tyres wear to the safety limits.

Presumably, in less cold markets, it could help get cars out that are stuck in mud.