How Airbags Can Make Jeans and High-Tech Vests Motorbikes Safe

But innovation in airbags can help keep motorcycle drivers safe.

Moshe Shahivar teamed up with Harley-Davidson Sweden 16 years ago to produce their first pair of motorcycle jeans – a protective leather lining. Now he is taking the idea a step further. His company Airbag Inside Sweden AB designed a prototype pair of super-strong jeans that concealed airbags inside the legs.

The wearer puts the jeans on his bike and if they fall off the motorcycle, the airbags are triggered, fill with compressed air and minimize impact on the lower body. Shahibar explains that the airbags can then be deflated, filled with gas and reinserted into jeans for re-use.

Airbag Inside is in the process of certifying Sweden AB jeans to European health and safety standards and putting them through a series of crash tests.

The company has raised € 150,000 ($ 180,000) from the European Union to develop the idea and hopes to bring the jeans to market in 2022. French company CX Air Dynamics has launched a crowdfunding campaign to develop a similar idea.

Airbag wastes

Shahivar says this is the first time such protection will be available for the lower body.

The equivalent technology for the upper body has been around for more than 20 years. The busts of motorcycle airbags can be fitted under the jacket, and protect the chest, neck and sometimes back.

Early versions were tethered to the bike, such as Shahiver’s jeans, but more recently, autonomous electronic airbags have been developed that use high-tech sensors to detect the rider.

Autonomous airbags in the market have a system created by the French firm In & Motion.

The company began designing wearable airbags for professional skiers in 2011 and has since adapted the technology for motorcycle drivers. Instead of using a wire to trigger the airbag, it has created a “brain” consisting of GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer. Slightly larger than a smartphone, this box is placed on the back of any compatible vest.

“The sensor measures movements in real-time and the algorithm is able to detect an airbag fall or crash just before an accident,” and speed communications manager Anne-Lauer Hoejeli told CNN Business.

The box measures the rider’s position 1,000 times per second. As soon as an “irreversible imbalance” is detected, the airbag is triggered and fully inflated to protect the user’s thorax, abdomen, neck, and spine, Hoigeli explains. It only takes 60 ml seconds.

& Amp;  Speed ​​manufactures high-tech airbag vests.

It recently raised € 10 million ($ 12 million) in funds for expansion into Europe and the United States.

While the basic operation is similar to other electronic airbags on the market, In & motion has an affordable subscription service, which Emma Franklin, deputy editor of Motorcycle News, explains. “Their system makes airbags more attainable for everyday people in many ways,” Franklin tells CNN Business.

Riders can either purchase the box outright for $ 400 or rent it from In & Motion for about $ 120 a year. Users in France have access to a setting that calls emergency services in the event of an accident.

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While MotoGP now mandates airbag safety and at this year’s Dakar rally, airbags are not a legal requirement for road motorcycle drivers – but Franklin believes they are an important safety innovation.
Richard Frampton, a senior lecturer in vehicle safety at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, says that there has not been much academic research into the effectiveness of the motorcycle airbag waistcoat, as they are still fairly new to road riders. But he pointed to research from the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks, which found that the airbag vest had a low impact speed of around 30 to 40 kilometers per hour (18 to 25 mph). Provided good protection.

“From some of the papers, case studies and articles I’ve seen, they are a very useful tool,” Frampton says.

“I’m on their side – the chest, neck and spine are all areas where you can get fatal injuries.”


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