Bike Science: Swedish Hovding airbag helmet [crash video]

We already mentioned the new Swedish cycling safety invention: the Hövding airbag bike helmet and posted that to our Facebook page (No, it’s not from Ikea, the name means “Chieftain”). There was a video in that link too, but we feel that we should store this in the safety of our blog as well since it’s been a discussion topic lately again.

Designed by two industrial design students from Sweden, Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt who started their search for convenience and style. They started from normal helmet designs but soon found themselves researching airbags as a solution. The end result is a collar that is fitted and attaches in place with Velco straps. Inside it has motion sensors (or accelometers) that measure the speed and angle of your neck and it does this 250 times per second.

Left: Black collar on Barbie, right: Deflated airbag helmet activated

When the sensors recognize a coming crash, they inflate the airbag in approximately 0.1 seconds, allowing you to escape your crash (hopefully) unscathed. The airbag itself is “bulletproof Nylon” that can tolerate being dragged on asphalt without ripping, which sounds like a really good idea for a helmet of this sort. It will also stay inflated for “several seconds” to allow you to face several crashes or hits during that time. So no, you can’t use it as a pillow on your transatlantic flight.

At the moment the price will be around 300 euros, but should they get it to mass production, the price should come down to just expensive. But that’s not an issue, since you can have it different patterns or color to suit your clothing and your style. While you’re at it, why not get two?

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By Markus Sandelin

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.