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Police Pull Over Car with Bizarre Bubbly Tire

Recently, police officers in Derbyshire, UK noticed a car with this tire. The driver was dropping off kids at school. The officers pointed out the problem and urged the driver to get the tire replaced immediately.

What do you think caused these bubbles to form on the tire?

-via Dave Barry | Photo: Derbyshire Police

The steel belts inside the tire are worn or just plain broke, and can't hold the air pressure any more. They'll have a blow-out sooner rather than later. I've had that situation once, luckily I was only going ~10mph on a residential dead-end with no other traffic.
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I called a tire company within 5 minutes of noticing a bubble on the sidewall of a tire on my yard tractor! What was this person thinking? Just keep driving until it blows?
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It's a question of internal damage, which just happens to be far less common than external damage (i.e. punctures, cracked sidewalls, etc). The driver might have hit a curb pretty hard, or failed to add air (driving on it while letting the pressure get very low). Other options are mishandling by the tire seller/installer, or just a rare manufacturing defect. Also a slim chance that a nail puncture was incorrectly patched, or a hundred other uncommon possibilities.
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