These days all Corvettes come with run flat tires and an air pressure monitoring system. This is crucial with a sports car that is capable of the speeds that the Corvette is as any change in air pressure can be dangerous if not caught right away.
With the run flat tires the driver has the ability to go up to 100 miles in distance at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour even if the tire has zero pounds of air pressure. This innovation was first used in the racing world, but as the technology became refined and easier to implement it became time to test it out in the real world.
Goodyear was the first to try out the run flat technology in the civilian world and they chose an obvious winner with the Corvette to be the pilot series. The first run flat tires available on the Corvette were made so for the 1994 model year as an option. The option gained much acclaim and with the first year of the C5 generation of the Corvette, the 1997 Corvette, came the Goodyear EMT which then became the standard.
Since then there has been several upgrades in the technology of the run flat tires but the idea remains the same; allow the driver to continue on even if there is zero air pressure in a tire. This type of technology is very useful if you are only a few miles from civilization and you experience a sudden loss of air pressure.
This also eliminates the scenario of having to get out of the vehicle in the middle of the night and risk life and limb in order to put on the spare tire. In fact, with the run flat technology comes the eliminating of the spare tire, the jack, and all that other heavy equipment needed to change a tire.
Because the run flat does essentially eliminate the spare and other bulky items, it allows for more trunk space. It also decreases the total curb weight of the vehicle and that means an increase in fuel efficiency.
As with many other innovations, the run flat started with the Corvette, but has since caught on like wild fire. Many vehicle owners can purchase run flat tires that may not have come standard with their vehicles if they want to. This is deterred however because of the increase in cost.
That said there are now a number of vehicles both foreign and domestic that feature run flat tires as the standard. Along with the Corvette, there are also the nameplates of Lexus, MINI, Rolls-Royce, and BMW just to name a few.
Moving forward it seems as though because the run flat tire has become more widely available that the Government may have its way and dictate that the run flat technology and the air pressure monitoring system become the standard for most if not all vehicles sold in the United States in order to improve safety. Once again the Corvette proves that it is a super car that is almost always ahead of the curve in almost every facet of engineering and their early implementation of the run flat technology is proof positive.