By design, most motorcycles are unable to offer many of the features that car owners take for granted—including quality airbags, which can mean the difference between life and death. In an effort to make bikes safer, motorcycle gear company Dainese has recently introduced a self-deploying airbag jacket.
The idea of a motorcycle jacket with a built-in airbag was first introduced in the 1970s, but previous models depended on outside information from the vehicle in order to activate. This technology can be unreliable in certain scenarios and inconvenient for riders who own or ride multiple bikes. Dainese’s D-air Misano 1000 solves these problems by integrating the electronics, sensors, and GPS technology into the jacket itself. The sensors monitor the dynamics of a rider’s body 800 times a second, and inflate in the event of a sudden or violent change in movement.
In 2013, motorcycle deaths were 26 times greater than deaths caused by cars. In the past, some motorcycles came with built-in airbags, but because cyclists don’t have seat-belts or a metal frame to contain them, they weren't always effective in worst-case scenarios. The Misano 1000 uses a two-inch air bladder to cushion the rider’s vital body parts, and the intelligent technology is able to perform both on and off the bike.
The jackets, available in November, will retail for around $1,700. Although the sticker price is high, consider that airbags save the lives of thousands of car drivers and passengers each year. Now this same technology has the potential to make travel a whole lot safer on two wheels.