An ingenious invention, designed to make motorcycling safer, has been awarded the Prof. Ferdinand Porsche Prize 2015: An airbag jacket that communicates with sensors on the motorcycle and inflates in a fraction of a second when needed is designed to cushion the impact and save lives in the event of an accident. It was awarded to Federico Sabbioni (Ducati) and Luigi Ronco (Dainese) on June 19, 2015.
Protection in fractions of a second
While the head is protected by a helmet when riding a motorcycle, the torso is relatively poorly protected in the event of an accident. The novel airbag jacket, which was originally developed by Dainese and expanded into an integral protection system in collaboration with Ducati, wraps the chest and vital organs, protects the back and reduces the risk of the neck being hyperextended.
The jacket communicates wirelessly with the vehicle and the connection is established automatically. With the help of sensors and special activation algorithms, the system detects dangerous situations. A reliable distinction can be made between a harmless collision at low speed, a motorcycle overturning while stationary, or an accident that is actually dangerous. Only in case of emergency the airbags are filled with compressed air so that the impact can be cushioned.
In less than 500 milliseconds, the danger is detected electronically and full protection is provided. The system is designed for the most common hazardous situations: Direct collisions with vehicles or obstacles, rear-end collisions in which the motorcycle is rammed from behind, and also if the motorcycle slips away in a turn.