Honda has come out with the first airbag for motorcycles.
From Honda Press Release:
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced it has succeeded in developing the world’s first production motorcycle airbag system. The new system, which can help lessen the severity of injuries caused by frontal collisions, is to be made available on the new Gold Wing motorcycle scheduled for release in late spring of 2006 in the US.
The Motorcycle Airbag System is comprised of the airbag module, which includes the airbag and the inflator; crash sensors, which monitor acceleration changes; and an ECU, which performs calculations to instantly determine when a collision is occurring. When a severe frontal collision occurs, the four crash sensors mounted on the front fork measure the change in acceleration caused by the impact and convey this data to the airbag ECU, which determines that a collision is occurring and whether or not it is necessary to inflate the airbag. If the calculations performed by the ECU indicate that airbag deployment is necessary, the ECU sends an electronic signal to the airbag inflator, which instantaneously responds by inflating the airbag. Inflating rapidly after the impact, the airbag can absorb some of the forward energy of the rider, reducing the velocity at which the rider may be thrown from the motorcycle and helping lessen the severity of injuries caused by the rider colliding with another vehicle or with the road.
By conducting extensive crash tests at its indoor omni-directional Real World Crash Test Facility, applying advanced computer simulation technology, and leading the way with the introduction of motorcycle rider test dummies, Honda has gathered and analyzed a wide array of data on the behavior of motorcycles during collisions. Honda has also taken full advantage of the experience of its automobile operations in the development of airbags, applying its expertise in the development of the Motorcycle Airbag System.
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