Bridgestone has launched its new DriveGuard run flat tyre in Europe which will be available as an aftermarket fitment to any make of car fitted with a pressure monitoring system.

The reason you need TPMS, said the tyremaker, is that otherwise a driver may not even know they have a puncture. The key to DriveGuard is its ability to allow the driver to keep control and maintain vehicle comfort for up to 80km (50 miles) at up to 80km/h (50mph).

The tyres, which have been available in the US since 2014, use optimised, reinforced rubber gauge in the sidewall which supports the vehicle weight even under sudden loss of air and allowing the driver to maintain control. Cooling fins are also built in to the tyre to reduce heat build-up at low pressure.

Edouardo Minardi, executive chairman for Bridgestone Europe said: "The two main things people expect of their tyres is control and mobility. DriveGuard allows them to maintain both even when the tyre is punctured. They allow the car to be driven safely for up to 80km which means you no longer have to be stranded by the side of the road in the middle of the night.

"They will fit all models equipped with TPMS and with this now mandatory on all new cars in the European Union this opens up a potential market of 32m vehicles a year."

The company said that prices will be comparable with other run or premium flat tyres currently on the market. Bridgestone has already sold around 1m DriveGuard tyres in the US and the company expects sales to gain momentum quickly on the aftermarket in Europe.