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Motorcyclists To Get Wearable Airbags

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the road-rash dept.

Technology 515

jonerik writes "For the past hundred years or so motorcycle accidents have had an unfortunate potential for particularly horrific injuries, or worse. Improvements in safety gear have certainly been made in the past few decades, but in some ways those improvements have been balanced out by the tremendous speeds that modern bikes are capable of. According to this article from ABC News, though, Dainese, a protective sports clothing maker in Vicenza, Italy has developed a wearable airbag vest - called the D-Air - designed to cushion riders in the event of an accident. The D-Air vest features a tiny electronic computer referred to as the STM (which stands for Sensing, Triggering, and Memory), which was developed by an Israeli company called Merhav APP. According to the article, the STM contains sensors that monitor the bike's physical motion. 'The sensors onboard the STM will watch for telltale signs -- such as a sudden deceleration force of about ten times that of gravity -- that precede a collision. Once the computer determines an impending accident, the STM blasts the data to receiver in the vest to start the inflation process.' This site also features some pictures of the D-Air vest in action. Dainese plans to begin selling the D-Air vest in Europe in the spring, though American sales will have to wait since the U.S. Department of Transportation has yet to set standards for such a device."

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Motorcyclists already had these (-1)

Sir Bard (605512) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861513)

Here is the article [bakla.net] you can order them there too according to

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861517)

Airbags get wearable motorcyclists

fp (-1, Offtopic)

pix (139973) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861520)

fp

tl,dr (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861523)

too long, didn't read

Ouch! (5, Insightful)

DJPenguin (17736) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861525)

Sounds like this sort of thing, if not calibrated perfectly for the person wearing it, could blow your head off!

Re:Ouch! (5, Insightful)

e8johan (605347) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861582)

An airbag inflator has the power of a hand granade. I would not like to carry such as device too close to the body. Also, what happens if I would wear a packpack, or have someone on join me on the bike (sitting behind me).

This device may look right, but how many lives will it save compared to those it take. Also, how do you dispose an explosive jacket, or take it with out on an aircraft. I'd say that this is probably a publicity stunt, and not really a life saver as airbags in cars are, but thats just MHO.

Re:Ouch! (2, Interesting)

chamenos (541447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861662)

i agree. worse still, the danger the wearable airbag poses should it inflate when its not supposed to would be immense. will the company be held liable in such an event?

Re:Ouch! (4, Interesting)

Goth Biker Babe (311502) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861733)

You do have to remember that airbags in cars in the US are a lot more powerful than those in Europe. In the US they are designed to try and save people who refuse to wear seat belts. Over here most people wear them (in the UK its the law, both front and back) and it's considered the drivers fault if they are injured because they aren't wearing their belt.

I suspect that these bags are not as powerful as you might think. Having said that I wouldn't want to wear one.

Re:Ouch! (2)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861737)

iirc from a report on Dainese's work on this jacket from quite a while ago, the jacket has a safety interlock, a key (attached to the jacket) which you need to plug into a receptle on the bike in order for it to be active. They might have changed the mechanism since then, (or i might not have iirc), but you can bet there will be some kind of interlock precisely because of the reasons you give.

Its definitely not a publicity stunt though. Dainese have been working on this jacket for quite a long while (many years). They're also one of the biggest names in protective motorcycle apparel.

rebound effect? (4, Funny)

jorlando (145683) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861526)

what about the rebound when the motorciclist hits the ground? He starts to bump around like a ping-pong ball? :-)

That already happens (3, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861650)

Bouncing, sliding, cartwheeling. Don't need a bouncy vest to do those when you come off the bike.

There Was This Earth-Shattering Kaboom... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861706)

Well, the image I have is of the Mars lander bouncing around the landscape. If they can surround the cyclist with airbags then he'll be safe, although dizzy...and perhaps above a tree or bobbing around a lake.

New Movie? (2, Funny)

randomErr (172078) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861528)

a protective sports clothing maker in Vicenza, Italy has developed a wearable airbag vest - called the D-Air - designed to cushion riders in the event of an accident.

Will they use these in the new Mad Max movie? [slashdot.org]

Go go... (5, Funny)

Britissippi (565742) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861531)

...gadget lifesaver!

Re:Go go... (1)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861710)

Go go gadget lifesaver!
(Helicopter blades come out)

Do you think the instruction manual will self-destruct in 5 seconds?

Re:Go go... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861723)

Go go ... ...gadget lifesaver!

Hilarious!

I pictured this somewhat differently though... like the Michelin Man [worldcycling.com]

High side v. low side (5, Interesting)

petrilli (568256) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861532)

I wonder how this deals with low-side collisions, which are relatively common in bad weather. This is where the bike comes out from under you, and you follow the bike. Generally, not deadly, but tend to create a lot of scrapes and bruises. Anyway, it's a neat idea. The other thing I miss is my BMW helmet with a high-mount G-detecting "stop light", to add to the tiny one on the back of my bike.

Re:High side v. low side - Safety is additive (5, Insightful)

swfranklin (578324) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861606)

I wonder how this deals with low-side collisions...

Probably not at all. This might be of use to specific types of accidents, including collisions (thrown over the handlebars) and high-sides (bike falls toward the outside of a turn, throwing the rider clear). Low-sides, where the bike falls toward the inside of a turn, generally leaves the rider on the bike or perhaps following behind the bike. Good riding gear such as leather or ballistic nylon with closed-cell foam armor cushioning hips, elbows, etc. do a very good job of protecting riders from this type of accident already.

All that aside, as the AMA rep points out in the article, collision avoidance needs to be the focus. No matter what happens, motorcycle accidents are going to involve a high risk of injury. I'd bet that you can put an 8-year-old child in the driver's seat of a Ford Excursion, buckle their seatbelt, and tell them to push down on the pedal on the right... and they'd have even-money odds of coming out uninjured. Skills don't enter as much into the picture in a "cage" (motorcyclist-speak for a 4-wheel vehicle).

Rider education, and technology that enhances control (ABS, better suspension like the BMW Telelever/Paralever), and rider education are the types of things that will reduce rider injuries. Yes, I put rider education in there twice on purpose, it's the most important.

Re:High side v. low side - Safety is additive (1)

petrilli (568256) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861672)

I have to agree. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation [msf-usa.org] courses are a basic starting point for all motorcyclists, but unfortunately, there's just many who don't care/pay attention. This is, unfortunately, deadly on a motorcycle, where it would simply be stupid in a car. The one thing, I would say about your statements on ABS and BMW's *lever designs (obviously you're a BMW rider :-) is that ABS is both good and bad on a motorcycle---depending on the application. There are many places when riding *very* agressively that ABS could be deadly. Having said that, I've ridden bikes that both have it, and miss it, and I would like a bike that has it, but has a switch for those occasions where I don't want it---kinda like traction control on a car.

The BMW *Lever designs are good for specific types of riding models---specifically touring/sport touring, but they are amazingly vague in the feedback department for sport riding, when compared to a good set of 43mm+ forks with adjustability. That's not to demean them, as one of the things I explain to people is that you have to take into account your riding patern. I ride a small sport bike, not particularly commutable, and only ride it on pretty days in twisty roads. That's a different model than someone in the Iron Butt [ironbutt.com] association. :-)

The trick, I think as the poster said, is education. Not just of motorcyclists---which generally have a higher awareness in my experience, but also of automobile drivers, who seem to be able to get a license without being able to execute a 3-point turn. Scary.

Re:High side v. low side - Safety is additive (1)

pheared (446683) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861709)

Probably not a Ford Excursion, because the gas tank might just ignite or it could experience sudden truck flippage due to a bumpy road or sunspots or something.

Re:High side v. low side (1)

NotTheNickIWanted (614945) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861652)

To expand on your comments, it would appear as though the vest has been designed to be worn over top of any other gear. Traditional leathers or other protective clothing would still be required to guard against road rash to limbs & other extremities.

...and I wonder what would happen if the vest was triggered while worn under the leathers? Is the inflation force sufficient to crack a rider's ribs or spine if the vest is prevented from expanding outward?

The other thing I miss is my BMW helmet with a high-mount G-detecting "stop light"

Sounds interesting... details please?

Re:High side v. low side (1)

petrilli (568256) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861689)

Back in the late 80s, BMW first got into making their own helmets (although it looks like now they contracted with Shubert). They had a really neat helmet, full face, great ventilation, etc., but the "cool thing" was that it had a small "brake light" (about 2x4") mounted in the back of the helmet. It had little sensors that would detect G-force changes of deceleration and cause the light to go on. This meant there was another light on the bike.

I think this was released about the time that "3rd stop lights" were just coming into use on traditional cars. I tried to find a picture of one, but couldn't, unfortunately.

Probably need lots more testing/experience. (2)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861534)

Could be really great, but I think it needs to be evaluated more. This kind of thing could hurt more than it helps.

Something like the BMW C1 [bmw-c1.de] may be a better choice for somewhat safer two-wheeled transportation; it does seem to reduce injuries in practice.

Re:Probably need lots more testing/experience. (2, Insightful)

petrilli (568256) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861627)

The problem with a C1 (I've ridden one in Europe) is that it's attrocious for handling. It blows around like a sailboat and honestly made me feel totally unable to ride in a straight line. Scary. It might help with some things, but I think you're actually more likely to get into an accident because of handling, though perhaps more likely to live when you do. Not really a great trade off. One of the things that Americans seem to ignore completely is the difference between active safety (which includes the handling model of the car, as well as the driver's skill), and passive safety (when it's already too late and you just don't want to die). I can't count the number of times on my motorcycle (and car) I've avoided a careening Cadillac or Ford Expedition not by depending on my airbag, but by the judicious use of brakes, handling and acceleration. There was a great article in Motorcycle Consumer News (not linkable unfortunately) that discussed defensive v. offensive riding. Specifically, motorcyclists must ride offensively, because we will always lose the defense against a 4000 pound SUV, so we have to look for openings and take them. Many times that implies the use of acceleration that cars see as "excessive," but which isn't really on a bike. My small 650cc V-twin will do 0-60 faster than any road car I've ever run into on the US roads, 3.5 seconds, and so even twisting the trottle "gently," will pull away in 5 seconds. The key to staying alive, on a bike, or in a car is awareness of your surroundings and being able to predict the stupid moves of the next idiot too busy talking on the cell phone to pay attention to you.

Re:Probably need lots more testing/experience. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861649)

Something like the BMW C1 [bmw-c1.de] may be a better choice for somewhat safer two-wheeled transportation; it does seem to reduce injuries in practice

Indeed, see here [yahoo.com] why a BMW is the best choice for you.

Re:Probably need lots more testing/experience. (2)

Max von H. (19283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861742)

Well, the C1 might be a good idea on paper but it's quite horrific to ride. There's too much weight high up, making the thing more unstable and the shape makes it difficult to put a foot on the ground and it's too expensive. And you can't take a passenger.

Now, the idea of a safety cell around the pilot is good, but you can only have it on a scooter that won't leave urban areas and won't generally go over 100Kph (62mph). The only good thing is you don't need to wear a helmet (there's an 'X' seatbelt tying you to the seat), and safety-wise the sheer size and height of the thing makes it more visible to cars than a regular scooter (a BIG plus in stressed urban areas).

Actually, BMW has stopped their production a few weeks ago because they don't seem to sell well at all... There goes another interesting concept.

I don't know how such a concept, declined into something bigger, would be welcome by motorcyclists (such as me), one of the things we like in the bikes is being free from roofs, belts and other containment devices...

Now to that airbag thing, it's not the first time we see such devices coming up. I remember seeing a similar vest at least 10 years ago. The biggest problem with such airbags is the time it takes to inflate. If you're a car driver, in case of a frontal shock the airbag opens according to a sensor placed in front of the car, giving it enough time to deploy itself while the front of the car gets crushed (and you have a seatblet to keep you from jerking forward). When you ride a bike and have a frontal collision, you're exposed *immediately*, there's no gap between the mechanical shock and its transmission to you. The moment the bike hits, you already are in the air, flying real fast towards the ground or the car, with great chances of hitting something before the airbag's deployed.

Dainese being a top manufacturer of racing and road equipment, I hope they managed to solve this timing problem. Nevertheless, the only way to protect yourself when biking is a good helmet, glove, boots and protective gear (leather is best, don't forget spine, shoulders, arms and legs protective pads). Of course, if other drivers would respect 2-wheelers and if the road planning people would take motorcycles into account, we'd have many less casualties to count within our ranks...

Cheers,
max

an air-vest has been advertized on tv for 6 months (5, Informative)

gonar (78767) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861535)

watch a little Speed channel. particularly during any motorcycle related show.

there is a CO2 powered air vest that is triggered by pull pins, connected by a lanyard to the bike. in the case of any inadvertant separation from the bike, it inflates. (even if you don't experence 10G loads)

Re:an air-vest has been advertized on tv for 6 mon (3, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861563)

or simply forget to unhook the lanyards. POOF, it's the Sta-Puft man!

The one I know of is Hit-Air. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861656)

The one I believe you might be thinking of is from www.hit-air.com [hit-air.com] . And it takes a 60 pound pull to inflate. They even warn if you have a small light bike or scooter it might tip over the scooter before it inflates.

Boing! (1)

buro9 (633210) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861538)

You can imagine them now, bouncing over the horizon like something out of a looney tunes cartoon!

Great... (4, Insightful)

Bobman1235 (191138) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861541)

I can't wait when in ten years these become commonplace and the government decides that they have to protect us from ourselves by requiring them. That will be a fine day.

Why not just put a protective steel cage around your motorcycle, and another 2 wheels to increase stability? It would be so much safer!

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861576)

Why not just put a protective steel cage around your motorcycle, and another 2 wheels to increase stability? It would be so much safer!

I have a better idea: let's just get rid of all the SUVs and let's put people who cause traffic accidents while on their cell phones behind bars.

Heh (4, Interesting)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861542)

Welcome to SnowCrash...


This is good stuff, as a biker one of my biggest concerns is protection. Dropping the bike is no big deal, wearing the right gear you're more or less safe. But in the case of collisions with other vehichles I'm not sure this will help. But more protection is always good.

Re:Heh (2)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861580)

Welcome to SnowCrash...

That is the first thing I thought, YT's automatic inflatable collar for extreme skateboarding and fighting nuclear terrorists.

Re:Heh (1)

the Man in Black (102634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861604)

RATS! I thought I'd be the first person to make that association.

How much sooner until biking leathers come with mini-airbags all over, with an emergency inflated cervical collar to protect from head and neck trauma? Here in Michigan we have helmet laws (Bleah)...this could clear that right up!

Re:Heh (1)

Froggie (1154) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861674)

Here in Michigan we have helmet laws (Bleah)

I have to say, I can't imagine getting on my bike without a helmet, despite (touch wood) never having an accident... Do Merkins really have that much problems with the idea?

(Conversely, I've once worn a helmet on my pushbike and would never think of it, so I suppose it's just what you're used to...)

That sounds like fun! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861545)

Next year's favorite college hazing stunt: jump off the highest building on campus, wearing one of these. Then wear it to the bar and chug a pitcher.

Just coincidence ? (2, Funny)

cwernli (18353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861546)

That D-Air is pronounced like "dare" is probably just a coincident, right ?

Is it likely to come with a warning "The usage of D-Air does not substitute driving with due care ?"

Oh my....

Is this the same patent? (4, Funny)

ianscot (591483) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861547)

Is this patent from the same Tokyo commuter whose inflatable underwear went off on the train a few years ago?

(Who knew NASA technology would pay off in this particular indirect way? Now our motorcyclists are bouncing around like Mars Pathfinder... After the accident maybe they can enjoy some refreshing TANG.)

Re:Is this the same patent? (2)

Dannon (142147) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861587)

motorcyclists are bouncing around like Mars Pathfinder

That is exactly the mental image I had! Complete with loony sound effects. Something like:
CRASH, inflation-Thwump! (inflated cyclist goes sailing through the air) boing, boing, boing.....

Riding pillion (2)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861548)

I wouldn't like to be behind the driver when that thing went off :-)

Simon

Worse? (4, Funny)

Skiboo (306467) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861550)

Am I the only one that at first glance read that as:

For the past hundred years or so motorcycle accidents have had an unfortunate potential for particularly horrific injuries, or worse; Improvements in safety gear

Methinks I need some coffee... :/

Re:Worse? (1)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861599)

Haha, funny! And I just ran out of moderation points...

Re:Worse? (1)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861681)

I imagine a system similar to reactive armor on tanks... strap some explosives to the outside of the car, detonate them on collision, thus lessening the force of impact! Great idea, right?

The picture (1)

Isle (95215) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861551)

Look at the picture of the inflated airbag. It looks like it mostly covers your back. (by giving you a giant lump)

I doubt it can ever become as usefull as a car airbag that mainly covers your head.

Re:The picture (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861592)

The head is already pretty well protected when you're on a motorocycle. It's the spine you have to worry about mostly.

Re:The picture (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861704)

Just because you're should wear a helmet doesn't always mean people do, and it's not always required by law (NH still doesn't require a helmet or seatbelts for people over 18)

Re:The picture (1)

petrilli (568256) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861717)

The head is well protected, the neck/spine is not as much so. Dianese has some stuff for racing for this. For the back, though, nothing beats armor, such as the stuff I wear from Vanson [vansonleathers.com] . This helps protect the spine, and in many cases is fully articulated. Not the most comfortable thing, but it can be very helpful in a crash.

What even happened to the honda idea? (2, Interesting)

John_Renne (176151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861553)

A while ago I saw a show on TV about an innovation made by Honda. They were making airbags on the outside of cars. In case of a crash the victim would be hurt less. In combination with a wearable airbag things would become even better.

On the other hand I would also suggest investing in technology to prevent accidents from happening as well as in damage reducing gear. We can build the electronics to accomplish this in planes, why not in cars&bikes?

Re:What even happened to the honda idea? (1)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861632)

Because planes generally doesn't have an awful lot of obstacles to avoid? Should it be on a collision course with another plane it can most likely change course without crashing into something else. Cars can end up in much more complex situations. There are systems that automaticly makes the car slow down when approaching an object too quickly, but that's it.

Re:What even happened to the honda idea? (2, Insightful)

Froggie (1154) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861701)

On the other hand I would also suggest investing in technology to prevent accidents from happening as well as in damage reducing gear. We can build the electronics to accomplish this in planes, why not in cars&bikes?


Like, for instance, hundreds of hours of intensive full time operator training?

personal air bags (4, Funny)

Lazarus_Bitmap (593726) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861557)

Here in Dallas, we've long been on the cutting edge of this type of technology. Specialized silicon-based versions have been available for some time, though they seem to be much more popular with women than men...

Michelin... (2, Funny)

giel (554962) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861559)

Cool! I imagine what a motercyclist will look like during or after an accident, I guess like this: the (good old) Michelin-guy [michelin.com] .

Re:Michelin... (2)

guybarr (447727) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861725)

This is what happens to stray babylonian gods crash-landing on Earth.

"There is no Dana, only Goo"

airbags == bigger tyres? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861561)

bike tubes are in a way airbags, I think the real answer are bikes with tow bars and collision - maybe a /. news ticker on the handle bars. Okay the /. ticker is going too far. Btw, do geeks even ride bikes? Is this really news?

I had a vision ... (2)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861569)

... of that James Bond coat that inflated to turn the wearer into an oversized inflatable golf-ball-like object.

Be the envy of your friends - turn into a bouncy ball at the touch of button. Be known as Pinball forever.

Cheers,

Toby Haynes

Re:I had a vision ... (1)

chuckfirment (197857) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861637)

Yea, and I can just see the pranks now.

"Ha!!! Look at James. He thought he was hot-stuff going to pick up his date. Well, until I nudged him in the ribs and blew his jacket up, that is. Now he looks like a deflated condom."

Wait until your college buddies find out you're wearing one.

Chuck

Volvos! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861572)

The main danger for motorcyclists are drivers in safe cars: all they have to lose is their no-claims bonus and they drive like maniacs as a result. Replace car airbags with a large spike which plunges through the driver's chest when they hit something, then we'll be safer.

-j

Useless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861577)

I think this is ridiculous. Existing body armor for motorcyclists frequently protects riders very well in the event of high speed accidents.

In the U.S. at least, the "potential for horrific injuries" is far more closely related to the fact that a disproportionate number of motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. In Illinois, for example, last year's IDOT fatality stats had more than 10% with a staggering BAC of over .20.

How about more education, less trying to protect riders from the fact that motorcycling actually requires some training, experience and skill?

Fine for collisions (2)

ThaReetLad (538112) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861583)

This seems fine for when a biker hits another vehicle more or less head on but there are plenty of accidents where this wouldn't help at all. During the summer I came across two motorcycle accidents, one of which was sadly fatal (lots of blood. Not very nice). In one of them the victim just lost control of his bike on a bend and hit his head on the curb hard, and in the other one the bike was clipped from behind by a car and the rider fell off her bike and thankfully ended up in a bush with little more than bruises. The point is that in neither of these cases did the rider (or bike) experience forces in excess of 10 g's until the moment they hit the road, and possibly not even then.

I'm saying that this is a bad device, just that its applicability is limited.

Re:Fine for collisions (1)

entrager (567758) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861714)

The article didn't say that 10Gs the ONLY way that it detects a collision. It was simply an example of ONE of the ways.

What if it's buggy? (1)

nother_nix_hacker (596961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861585)

Can you emagine if it went off while doing 90 on the M25? Surely you would end up off your bike and by the time you hit the floor it may have deflated!

Er.. it's a good idea though!

Re:What if it's buggy? (1)

Froggie (1154) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861718)

Can you emagine if it went off while doing 90 on the M25?


Can you imagine what would happen if the airbag went off in your car in the same situation? Same problem, same solution: incredible amounts of paranoia when designing the thing.

Motorcycle injuries (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861588)

Falling on the ground and sliding are not the source of bad motorcycle injuries. Padded leather can/does prevent injuries like this. The real problem is when your slide-for-life gets cut short by an oak tree, telephone poll, guard rail, 18 wheeler.... I can't see an air bag vest helping in those situations.

What about ruck sacks? (1)

crashandburn99 (562149) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861590)

I tend to carry a rucksack when on my bike and keep it quite close to my back for warmth and balance.

With this thing exploding around me quite fast what happens to my shoulders when the rucksack straps don't give and the bag tries to inflate behind it?

Could actual do more damage than just hitting the graound with armour in the leathers to help with impact and scraping?

crashandburn99

Re:What about ruck sacks? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861619)

With this thing exploding around me quite fast what happens to my shoulders when the rucksack straps don't give and the bag tries to inflate behind it?

I'm picturing something more like the vest squeezing you until your head pops off like a cork on a champaigne bottle.

I love government regulation (2, Troll)

Quila (201335) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861593)

American sales will have to wait since the U.S. Department of Transportation has yet to set standards for such a device."

So, how many motorcyclists will die a preventable death before the DOT gets off its ass and allows these.

Re:I love government regulation (2)

jonerik (308303) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861642)

The company wants to avoid a situation where they introduce the vest into the US and the government comes along a few months later and sets higher standards for similar devices than what the vest has been engineered for, inviting potential lawsuits down the road. Having said that, I suspect there will be a pretty good number of grey market US sales in the meantime through eBay and third-party distributors.

I love morons who think it's all the govt's fault (2)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861682)

Talk to the company about it - they're the ones that are declining to sell them. The fact that the DOT doesn't have standards for it is irrelevant.

All that means is that the company is afraid of putting out a product that might not spec up in the future. Not that there's a government conspiracy to continue to let idiots die on dangerous vehicles.

thats retarded... i'll take my leathers (3, Interesting)

in_ur_face (177250) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861595)

i'm sorry but i still feel much more comfortable in my full leathers. not only is my whole body protected, but that air bag looks like it would do more damage then good for the rider.

when riding, its important not to have anything on your body in case of a fall. For instance, if you wear a backpack, it has been shown not to be safe in the event of a fall (increased back injury, etc...). this is why they have tank/trunk bags. But this air bag looks like it would only protect your back and cause a more ackward fall in the case of an accident.

also price is rediculous. good full leaters will run you around 500$. the price of the vest is well over that (sure its becuase it is early development phase but still). what about re packing your air bag? i'm sure thats more $$$ too

good concept but not good enough

My airbag (5, Funny)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861597)

always sits behind me on the motorcycle.

(dont let her know I said that or she'll yell at me!)

One more way to avoid personal responsibility (2)

Adam Rightmann (609216) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861598)

I think this is a step in the wrong direction, and will lead to more accidents and deaths down the road.

Any biker who's rode more than 10,000 miles will have many tales to tell you of stupid cagers trying to kill them, with only the biker's wits and reflexes to save them. In a way, it's a way of separating men who trust themselves from the great scared masses who can't be trusted with dangerous machines, be they motorcycles, or even handguns.

But with this, the stupid cager masses will think they will be invulnerable on a bike, and take up riding. Soon, the body count will rise, how much will an airbag protect one against being run over by a semi, or high siding into a tree at 80 mph?

It's a lot like sin, the safest way to ride is not to rely on gear, but constant, ceaseless vigiliance, and no matter how much you try to protect yourself and your family from sin and temptation, the best way to prevent the excrutiating pain of eternal Damnation is ceaseless, constant vigilance, and being born Catholic.

Re:One more way to avoid personal responsibility (2)

Photon Ghoul (14932) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861691)

You know, there are people on bikes acting careless already. Bikes are the minority on the road (here in Dallas, anyway). It never fails that when I do see them, for the most part, they are doing one of the following:
- going insanely faster than any vehicle with four or more wheels
- driving said speed in the rain
- driving said speed in-between car lanes on the freeway
- driving said speed on the shoulders of the freeway

Just an observation from one of the "stupid cager masses".

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861601)

airbag inflates you!

Wireless? (2, Funny)

GedLandsEnd (537573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861605)

The STM also features a radio transmitter that wirelessly links the box to a receiver built-into the D-Air vest.

Someone hits their garage door opener and you get blown off your bike...

nice

Thud! Death! .... inflate. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861607)

>such as a sudden deceleration force of about ten
> times that of gravity -- that precede a collision

Isn't it a bit late by then? Surely you don't decelerate until you're hitting something.

Accidental Inflation....OH MY, loot at that Earl. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861608)

Um what if you're just slowing down real fast or screwing around? Suddenly you're a marshmellow and D-Air has a lawsuit on their hands. That sensor had better be damn good.

Also I don't know what the inflated jacket will look like but is it going to throw my passenger off the back of the bike if it accidentally inflates?

I'm a software developer and I've got to say that complex systems tend to have unforeseen states (i.e. bugs) I think I"ll let someone else test this one. ;-)

It will help in some accidents (5, Informative)

davidfsmith (81296) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861609)

However it wouldn't have stopped my thigh bone being broken when I was "helped" off my bike at a junction by a kindly lady pulling across my path.

What you probably need is a version of the michelin man suit !

Anything that adds to the protection of motorbike pilots has to be a good thing, but I would suggest that a lot of the problem is from two areas, pilots riding too fast for the conditions, and car drivers / other road users not being aware of bikes.

I was wearing a jacket with armour in it, and a 400ukp crash helmet, without the full face lid I would be dead as the lower part of it seemed to have been the first point of contact I had with the ground as I performed a face plant on my way to going 30-0 mph in a few feet. When on a bike assume all other road users are idiots, and spend as mcuh money as you can (and more) on your personal protection, it *will* save your life!

If you have an accident on your bike the next important bit is the speed you get taken to somewhere that can put you back together... luckily I crashed a 2 minute ambulance ride away from the local hospital (and you have to hope that as you lie there in the road a "helpful" stranger doesn't remove your crash helmet unless they know what they are doing)

Airbags for construction workers. (5, Informative)

XNormal (8617) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861613)

This article [wired.com] in Wired from 1999 describes an airbag vest developed by Japanese construction giant Kajima to protect construction workers from falls.

And yet again.... (1)

Savant (85811) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861615)

Life imitates Neal Stephenson. This reads exactly like something out of Snow Crash.

Preceding a collision?!?! (2, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861631)

The sensors onboard the STM will watch for telltale signs such as a sudden deceleration force of about ten times that of gravity that precede a collision.

Yeah, riiiiiight...
and while they're at it why don't they try detecting other tell-tale signs like profuse bleeding and bone fractures that also precede a collision.

I guess when the computer determines an "impending accident" it dumps 1.21 jiggawatts into the flux capacitor.

-

Alpinestars and Honda too (1)

Kneht (218314) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861633)

According to Sport Rider, Alpinstars (another Italian company) and Honda have teamed up to produce their own air vest, set to deploy in only 15 milliseconds. The older, lanyard-based (not Dainese) vest can take up to 80. I was recently in a motorcycle accident which could have been much less if I had been wearing a vest like this, in addition to the gear I was already wearing (I T-boned a car at ~40mph).

I'll pass thanks (3, Insightful)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861638)

It's bad enough we have hand grenades in the steering wheels of our new cars (another reason I only drive old cars) but now we'll be wearing one too?

Thanks, I'll pass. When I ride my FZR600, I wear heavy leather gloves, massive leather jacket (along with a spine brace), two pairs of pants (inner one are jeans, outer: leather) and a full helmet.

When I flipped my FZR once and was thrown off, the only thing bruised was my pride (and all the expensive fiberglas on the bike.)

If I want hand grenades attached to my jacket, I'll join the military.

Deceleration (1)

Froggie (1154) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861641)

Deceleration of 10g *precedes* a collision? My motorbike's brakes are good, but not *that* good...

Re:Deceleration (2, Informative)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861686)

There are threee collisions in an accident:

1) bike with object (or road)
2) rider with object
3) riders organs with his/her skeleton

The second two collisions are what kills. The rapid decelleration of the first collision will precede the other two - triggering the device.

Who said anything about brakes?

What are we actually learning? (1, Flamebait)

Like2Byte (542992) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861645)

What are we actually learning, as a society, from the usage and collision from motor vehicle accidents? How to crash better?

I'm all for improving safety and taking every measure possible to sustain life when there is an accident; however, we should all be mindful that no matter how many safety devices are incorporated into a device, one should still be mindful of their surroundings and take appropriate action *before* the situation degrades into an accident. Drivers need to be far more aware of the world, not just outside their front windshield, but from the viewpoint of all their windows. I've seen too many drivers cut off other vehicles, motorcycles more-so, than I care to recount.

Fortunately, here in the states, motorcycle drivers are required to take a safety course teaching the proper handling of a motorcycle in difficult situations. Unfortunately, drivers of SUVs aren't required to take these safety courses and end up killing a fair amount of their own citizens in smaller vehicles and motorcycles.

Point being: proper training improves everyones chances of returning home safely.

Re:What are we actually learning? (2, Funny)

EllF (205050) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861707)

Unfortunately, drivers of SUVs aren't required to take these safety courses and end up killing a fair amount of their own citizens in smaller vehicles and motorcycles.

I knew SUV's were large, but I didn't realize that they constituted soverign nations yet. I guess I'll stick to walking.

Biking stories ... sniff (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861657)

After witnessing my friend's death due to a biking accident ( crashed into a parked car at more then 4 times the speed limit ( 180+ kph)) i decided to sell my bike.
It was the 3d person of a 15 member group of bikers that had died in the course of about 2 years, and i had enough. OK, most of the blame was up to us, we drove at incredible speeds on public roads ( 200 kph+ was not at all unusual ( and it wasn't on a highway or speedway). We did have a lot of experience on circuit tests and occasional amateur racing. But nothing protects you from your own stupity or that of others that cross your path ...

On the other had, it's just plain impossible to respect the speed limits with any stock supersport bike these days. ( I used to have a Suzuki TL-1000 R, standard 138 hp, but after carefull tuning it got up to about 150 hp, and reached speeds of around 290 kph ) Going slower then about 80-90 per hour is impossible with this bike ...

Anyway,I've been reading about this airbag jacket for a while now, but i'm not sure that this kind of stuff will really help a lot.
Sure, it does offer some more support, but at high speeds, i guess it won't really help a lot. And the kick in biking for me was all about speed ... ok the romantic idea of the freedom and joy of biking does have some truth in it ...
But the real kick is in scraping your knee-pads at high-speed turns ...
And that's where protective clothing really is important, I've been fairly happy with the dianese protective clothes, they've saved my from road burn a few times already, when i was luchky enough to fall at places where i was going slow enough to survive , and had enough place to slide to a halt ...Never had anything more then some slight burns and scratches and some broken fingers ...

Doubtful... (5, Interesting)

ivrcti (535150) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861663)

I rode every day for 7 years and I'm not sure about this product. This won't protect against the slide (as others have already pointed out), but that only accounts for about 5-10% of accidents.

The biggest cause of motorcyle accidents is when the car driver doesn't see you and either turns left in front of you, or pulls into your lane. In the left hand turn accident, the bike would experience the sudden deacceleration and the vest would inflate. But if it does, the inflated vest makes you a slightly more "round shape." I believe this would tend to cause more rolling and less sliding. At 30+ mph, the rolling effect would likely protect the head and neck (IF you are wearing a helmet), but tend to cause a LOT more arm and leg injuries.

In the accident where a car pulls into your lane, you usually bounce off the car and go into an uncontrolled tumble. I don't believe the vest would inflate.

I also wonder about the vulnerability of the wireless link. If a passing cell phone/CB/Ham radio/TV tower caused it to go off accidentally, it would almost certainly cause an accident.

The biggest hurdle by far, though is cost and use. Most riders are young, predominately male. As a general rule, we either are so young we don't fully understand the risk of riding (or after about 2 weeks of street riding) we realize the risk and accept it as the cost for our freedom. Most riders will spend plenty of money on their bike, but not much at all on their gear, so you would first have to convince the young guy that the risk will really be minimized and that the financial cost is worth the reduction in risk. Not an easy sale! I give it a 10% chance of being successful.

Important Safety Rule For Motorcycle Riders (5, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861668)

Always assume that anyone driving a car, truck, etc, is one or more of:
  • Blind
  • Drunk
  • Stoned
  • Stupid

Dropping your bike (4, Funny)

panker (461977) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861673)

I have ridden motorcycles for quite some time, and everyone I know has dropped their bike while parked at least once. Having your airbag vest go off at that time would make the event even more embarassing that it already is.

Bubble Boy (1)

jeepliberty (624159) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861675)

I picture "Bubble Boy" of Seinfeld on a motorcycle. George Costanza running into him with scissors.

Oh, the humanity!

Stylin'? Not! (1)

HedRat (613308) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861695)

This thing inflated makes you look like Quasimoto.

Oops, forgot the new battery ! (2)

RyoSaeba (627522) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861705)

Imagine, you drive peacefully, suddenly realize you heading in for a bad collision.... you think 'at least i have that jacket' and at that time you have the battery warning light switching on !!!

Snow Crash (2, Interesting)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861715)

Didn't the book Snow Crash have something similar in it? I think both YT and Hiro were wearing suits that incorporated similar stuff to this.

Michelin Man (2)

turgid (580780) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861716)

Just goes to show that the Michelin Man was way ahead of his time.

Excellent...So what's next?? (2)

QwkHyenA (207573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861729)

Son, I'm telling you for the last time! If you don't put on your D-Air vest you can't go outside and and play!

*Watching a football game listening to the announcer*

Ouch! You know that's going to leave a bruise! I think that's the second D-Air vest that hasn't gone off today!

I wonder... (2, Funny)

HedRat (613308) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861730)

If it comes with Northstar as an option.

N.S. Sir, our sensors indicate that your wearable air bag has actuated. Are you currently bouncing down the road like a beachball?

Biker: Unmff, ouch!, Damn!...nnngggohhh...

no head protection (2)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#4861735)

Judging from the picture and the article, it doesn't seem as if the device is going to provide too much protection against serious head injuries, which are a major cause of motorcycle fatalities.

In soviet Russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4861736)

1. Crash
2. Inflate
3. ???
4. Profit!
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