A few years back, we wrote about a bicycle helmet designed by a team of innovative Swedes, who had a lightbulb moment back in 2005. From concept to approved certified product, the first version of the airbag cycle helmet was introduced in 2015. Named the Hövding, the invisible airbag helmet was not only functional it also showed stylish potential.
Worn around the neck like a collar, the airbag technology protects up to 8x better than traditional plastic helmets, thanks to sensors inside the collar that can read the cyclist’s movement pattern 200 times per second. With more than 185,000 Hövdings now sold, our curiosity about this out of the box product continues to be aroused, so we had a conversation with the team behind the world’s safest bicycle helmet to find out more.
What inspired the creation of Hövding airbag for cyclists?
The idea for a new type of cycle helmet was born in 2005 when Swedish legislation made it mandatory for children under 15 to wear cycle helmets. There was also debate about whether adults should be forced to wear helmets as well. Two industrial design students, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin decided to find out whether it was possible to design a cycle helmet that people would want to use even without being forced to do so by law. In their degree project, they developed the concept of the airbag cycle helmet. It then took just over seven years to develop Hövding from idea to approved, certified product. The work to create an airbag for cyclists had an unexpected but welcome side effect. Hövding’s unique airbag system turned out to give cyclists superior protection against head injuries. Tests at the well-reputed Stanford University showed that Hövding’s airbag technology provides up to eight times better protection against brain injuries than a traditional cycle helmet. There have also been other powerful statements by road safety experts.
According to scientific studies, the airbag technology is up to 8x safer than traditional bicycle helmets, can you explain how the airbag for cyclists works?
Hövding is fitted with accelerometers and gyroscopic sensors that register acceleration and rotation around the neck of the cyclist. When it is switched on, Hövding records a cyclist’s movements 200 times a second. In the event of an accident, it detects the cyclist’s abnormal movement, and the airbag is inflated.
Hövding’s algorithm is based on collected patterns of movement. Ahead of the launch of Hövding 3, Hövding assembled the most extensive volume of data on cycling movements and accidents ever collected. More than 3,200 accidents were staged with stuntmen and over 2,000 hours of regular cycling were performed. This data collection forms the basis for the algorithm in Hövding 3. All accidents staged with stuntmen were filmed with high-speed cameras and analysed. We looked at whether the fall was natural and at various features of the accidents. These analyses gave us good indicators of when a person falls and what it looks like. This analysis, along with our vast database of patterns of movement in accidents, means that we can call ourselves world leaders in knowledge about cycling accidents.
The full article read on the FashNerd