Airbags are built to save your life. By holding you in place, and thus not having you whipsaw wildly through the cabin thanks to kinetic energy, you don’t break your neck and only mildly hurt your spine. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, mostly have to hope the road won’t rise up to meet them. But Ducati is trying to bring the life-saving features of the airbag to the cyclist.
Ducati’s system may sound a bit familiar, as it uses the same technology to protect skiiers. But it’s been upgraded for the motorcyclist.
First of all, it’s in a riding jacket, not a vest, and will expand to a wider area. Secondly, it’s a two-part system: The motorcycle detects a crash, and sends a signal to your airbag. It’s lightning quick, too, at just 45 milliseconds to trigger.
Protect Your Neck
That’s important because, well, just ask any doctor what he calls a motorcycle. Motorcycle accidents kill thousands every year, a number that’s been steadily rising since 1994. The airbag will protect the body while the helmet you should be wearing will protect your skull. That said, don’t expect this to be a gentle landing. If you’ve ever seen a video of an airbag deploying, you’re probably not walking away from a motorcycle accident without some pretty serious bruises. But you will be walking away.
Hopefully Not Full Of Hot Air
Apparently Ducati plans to get this system on the market sooner rather than later; the plan appears to be that it will start selling in May, after Ducati reveals the full system and its price a few weeks from now; details are unfortunately a bit thin at this point. Honestly, the sooner the better; the safer we can make being on the road for anybody, the better it’ll be for everyone on the road.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.