In collaboration with airbag manufacturer Alva Sweden, and in development since 2005, Hövding has just released the second version of its ‘Airbag for Cyclists’. Rather than the traditional cycling helmet made from plastic and polystyrene, this is a hi-tech collar.
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to trade a helmet for a collar but this one will sense when you are involved in an accident, deploying an inflatable helmet in just 0.1 seconds.
It also covers far more of your head and neck, reducing the chances of whiplash, and is three times more shock absorbent than a standard helmet. Charged via USB, you get roughly nine hours of continuous cycling time with Airbag deployment guaranteed.
Here’s an excellent overview from the Stuff.tv team.
The stats are pretty staggering too. It has been tested by stunt bikers in every conceivable accident situation, thereby creating an algorithm that can determine when exactly an accident is taking place. Apparently common-or-garden variety helmets will still result in serious head injuries for their wearers over 90% of the time – for Airbag wearers that’s reduced right down to under 2%.
Unfortunately, this technology comes with a £250 price tag for one-time use. Hövding will, however, allow you to buy a second one at a reduced price and is always keen to get its paws on the black boxes of used Airbags for future analysis.