Cyclists have often raised concerns over safety issues. Due to the lack of cycling infrastructure and unorganized traffic in cities, cycle enthusiasts often let go of their eco-friendly commute options. Well, with a new invention by a Swedish startup, man’s old rustic friend may soon flood the streets again.
Hovding, based out of Malmo, Sweden, has come up with the world’s first airbag for cyclists. The airbag is designed like a hood, which inflates and provides shock absorption in case of an accident, and protects all of the head, leaving only the field of vision open.It is the perfect invention for those of us too vain to bother wearing a helmet while riding our bikes.
The airbag is designed like a hood and made in an ultra-strong nylon fabric that won’t rip when scraped against the ground. Hövding protects nearly all of the head while leaving the field of vision open. The inflated airbag covers a much larger area than a traditional cycle helmet and is designed according to current accident statistics.
The airbag fixates the neck and provides extremely soft and gentle shock absorption. The pressure remains constant for several seconds, making it able to withstand multiple head impacts during the same accident. After that, the airbag slowly starts to deflate.
The gas inflator that inflates the airbag is a so-called cold gas inflator that uses helium. It is placed in a holder in the collar on the cyclist’s back.
Thousands of tests were done, re-enacting cycling accidents using stunt riders and crash-test dummies, to collect the specific movement patterns of cyclists in accidents. In parallel, an equal amount of normal cycling data has been collected using test cyclists wearing Hövding in everyday cycling. Based on this collected data, we have developed an algorithm that can distinguish normal cycling from accidents.
The collar is made of waterproof, functional fabric that provides the best possible protection for the built-in airbag system. The collar isn’t washable but is protected from wear, sweat, and dirt by the surrounding fabric shell. Any marks on the collar can be rubbed off carefully with a damp cloth.
The collar is ergonomically designed with even weight distribution across the shoulders. It is slightly heavier at the back than at the front so that when cycling the weight is resting on your back.
The price of this Hovding Airbag Helmet around $279 each.