A Swedish firm has designed the world’s first airbag for cyclists.
The Hövding airbag is designed to revolutionise head protection and videos of the invention online have attracted more than 150 million views as cyclists get excited about the inflatable helmet’s potential.
Worn as a collar around the cyclist’s neck, the helmet inflates like a car airbag when an impact is detected and surrounds the wearer’s head to cushion and protect the skull.
The video’s social media success has helped increase the profile of the product, which is currently sold in 140 shops in Sweden, and a further 500 or so around the world. Internationally, Hövding is sold in Denmark, Germany, UK, France and Japan.
Commenting on the video’s success, Fredrik Carling, MD of Hövding said: “All of us who work with Hövding are very committed and fired up by the product. It is cool to now see how millions of other persons are becoming committed and spreading the technology and idea of safe bicycling further.”
‘Eight-fold reduction in head injury risk’
As well as going ‘viral’, the system has attracted praise from researchers at Stanford University.
Researchers at the university lauded the helmet as “near perfect” in terms of protecting against concussion and head injuries caused by accidents, concluding that that the Hövding airbag leads to an eight-fold reduction in the risk of concussion when compared against traditional helmets.
David Camarillo, who headed the research team behind the results, also held a lecture at the TEDxStanford conference in the USA. The lecture was about “Building a smart helmet” and the Hövding Airbag for Urban Cyclists was showcased as an example.