SAFER RIDES: AIRBAGS FOR MOTORCYCLES
Motorcycle user safety can also come from airbag technology
Airbags have long been used in cars but are standard for motorcycles. Engineers are constantly trying to implement airbags for rider safety. Several manufacturers of motorized equipment such as Dainese and Alpinestars have also made jackets equipped with airbags.
But it doesn't stop there. An American start-up has started working on an airbag system called the Airbag for Bike. This airbag is more sophisticated than the jackets on the market. The way it works is inspired by the ejection seat of a fighter plane. So that when a collision occurs, the driver can "fly" in a safer direction.
When the rider is in the air, this ejection seat will create a bubble of protection. Airbags will smother the driver in the event of an accident. The airbags are inserted in the seat, not in the driver's jacket, and the airbags only inflate in the event of a collision above a certain speed.
The system is claimed to be easy to use; the driver only needs to wear a buckle at the waist when driving. The system will automatically unlock when the driver turns off the engine. It uses a gyroscopic sensor to calculate the impact force. If needed, the system will remove the seat from the bike, and the airbags are ejected in just a few milliseconds.
The system's algorithm is specially developed and can calculate whether or not an ejection seat and airbag are needed, for instance, when crashing at low speed.
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Piaggio and Autoliv collaboration
Autoliv, inc., a world leader in automotive safety systems, and Piaggio Group, one of the leading scooter and motorcycle manufacturers, are currently collaborating to develop an airbag for powered two-wheeled vehicles for better rider safety.
A joint development agreement was signed by both parties to develop airbags to provide better protection for two-wheeler drivers and improve driving comfort. The airbag will be attached to the vehicle frame and will deploy in a matter of milliseconds.
The popularity of powered two-wheelers continues to increase, driven by widespread urbanization and urban density and the practicality and ease of use. Today's scooters and motorcycles are equipped with advanced safety systems, such as ABS (Antilock Braking System) and ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation). The addition of airbags would be a further step in this direction.
"Autoliv is committed to our vision of Saving More Lives and providing world-class life safety solutions for mobility and society. Therefore, we develop products that specifically protect vulnerable road users," said Mikael Bratt, CEO, and President, Autoliv, in a statement.
"The development of these products is an integral part of our sustainability plan and an important step towards our goal of saving 100,000 lives per year by 2030."
Autoliv has developed the initial concept with advanced simulation tools and carried out a full-scale collision test. Autoliv will now work with the Piaggio Group to further develop the product and the potential to commercialize the concept.
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Honda, a step ahead
Honda motorcycle manufacturers are currently starting to patent designs for safety aspects. Honda introduced a new patent showing that the brand is working on a curtain-style airbag system. Interestingly, in the patent that was filed, Honda used the PCX scooter model as the model shown.
However, the new airbag system may not be as powerful as a proper Gold Wing airbag for a car, but the measures should be commensurate with lower urban traffic speeds. In showing off this new patent, Honda has three design plans displayed. They also described in detail the three airbag patent design plans.
The first patented design featured a U-shaped component covering the instrument panel. This component is placed in front of the handlebars and the windshield. Later, the airbag will inflate between the driver and the windshield to provide safety in the event of an accident.
In the second design, Honda also aimed to hide the airbag under the instrument panel so that these components cannot be seen. The design also features a swivel windshield that slides forward when the airbag inflates to accommodate the inflated airbag.
While the third design, Honda will bury the airbag module mounted directly on the handlebars. The patent also includes an outer inflation tube that connects the airbag unit to the collision sensor. While this design can place the airbag closest to the rider, it also presents steering resistance in the other patents.
In motorcycles, the only product that provides airbags is the Honda Goldwing, sold at a price of more than Rp 1 billion in Indonesia.#THE S MEDIA #Media Milenial #motorcycle #airbag #autoliv #piaggio #honda