Besides continuing to produce its high-end protective body armor, Dainese has also spent the last several years developing something else – a wearable airbag system for motorcyclists
. A couple of years ago, the Italian company announced that it had entered into a partnership with the International Ski Federation, to adapt that system for use by downhill ski racers
. Now, Dainese has announced that it is fine-tuning the ski system, for use in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
It might not win any beauty contests, but this electric vehicle developed by students at Hiroshima University would be my pick if I had the choice of which car I was going to be involved in an accident with. Instead of relying on interior airbags to cushion the driver during a collision, the iSAVE-SC1 is essentially a drivable cushion that should soften the blow for driver and pedestrian alike.
We first saw Mercedes-Benz’s Beltbag in the company’s gadget-laden ESF2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle
. Now the German automaker has announced the inflatable seat-belt strap is set to go into production and debut in an as yet unnamed luxury-class model. Mercedes is following in the footsteps of Ford, which introduced the first production inflatable seat-belts
in the 2011 Explorer and now includes the technology in a number of models.
Regular Gizmag readers may recall the Hövding airbag collar
we covered back in October 2010. Recent tests by Swedish insurance company Folksam suggest that, when it comes to direct impact tests, the Hövding beats the competition hands down.
Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Volvo V40 possesses some high-tech features, including the world's first pedestrian airbag system. The five-door, five-seater sibling to the Volvo C30 features (as standard) front bumper sensors that register the physical contact between the car and a pedestrian. When impact occurs, a section of the bonnet (closest to the windscreen) is released and elevated by the deployment of the airbag. The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised bonnet, around one-third of the windscreen as well as the lower section of the A-pillar. The system is designed to help to reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries.
Airbags for motorcyclists, whether built into the vehicle (a la Honda
) or the rider's apparel (like the D-Air
), are not a new idea. But Canadian inventor Rejean Neron's Safety Sphere concept has to be the most, well, all-encompassing
of those we've seen. Described as an "inflatable crash garment for non-enclosed vehicle riders", Safety Sphere isn't so much built into the rider's suit as it is
the rider's suit. In the event of an accident, the intended results are nothing if not dramatic, as the CG video promo ably illustrates.
and rear-window airbags
you'd be forgiven for thinking that there couldn't possibly be anywhere else in a car automobile manufacturers could cram one. But you'd be wrong. General Motors (GM) has just announced it will introduce the industry's first front center airbag in selected vehicles in 2013. The latest airbag addition is designed to protect drivers and front passengers in the event of side impact crashes.
Since Mercedes-Benz introduced the frontal airbag
as an option on its S-Class vehicles back in 1981, airbags have become standard safety equipment in passenger vehicles the world over. In addition to frontal driver- and passenger-side airbags, there are now also side curtain, side torso, knee, rear curtain
and even seat-belt airbags
. With the aim of freeing up space in increasingly crowded instrument clusters, automotive safety systems manufacturer TRW has now developed a "bag in roof" airbag system that deploys the front airbag from the roof instead of the steering wheel or dashboard.
Airbags have been cushioning drivers in accidents since the 1980’s and are now standard equipment on most new cars sold around the world. With cyclists and motorcyclists being much more vulnerable on the road than their car-enclosed cousins there have been a number of devices designed to bring the protection of an airbag to vehicles of the two-wheeled variety, including the Hit-Air jacket
and Honda’s motorcycle airbag
. The latest is an airbag collar aimed at cyclists called the Hövding that is worn around the neck and inflates to enclose the rider's head in the event of an accident.
Should the astronauts living on the International Space Station
ever need to evacuate, the plan is that they will be able to board the station’s resident escape spacecraft, which will then take them back to Earth. That escape craft, called Orion, is currently under construction. Like the Apollo spacecraft that it resembles, Orion is intended
to land at sea. If it should happen to come down on the land, however... well, those astronauts could be in for a rough landing. With that in mind, a graduate student in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is developing an air bag system to cushion Orion’s occupants in the event of a dry landing. The system, interestingly enough, was inspired by the structure of seeds.