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POC working with auto safety systems company to develop bike helmet airbag technology

Published July 12, 2022

STOCKHOLM (BRAIN) — Cycling and snowsports helmet brand POC said it has teamed with automotive safety systems company Autoliv Inc. to study and develop airbag technology for bike helmets.

The integrated airbag would act as the initial energy absorber, while the underlying helmet structure would be the other energy absorber. The combination of both absorbing technologies enables a reduction of "the peak linear head acceleration and significantly reduced head injury risk in impact tests."

After conducting the pre-study, the Autoliv research team's conclusion is that a bike helmet with an integrated airbag significantly can improve protection and reduce the consequences of impacts, especially at higher speeds enabled by riding an e-bike.

During the pre-study, Autoliv and POC developed the initial concepts by simulation tools and conducted correlated physical crash tests. The successful outcome of the pre-study will now lead to further testing and refinement with the objective of developing the concept further and potentially bringing a product to the market.

The pre-study also showed that the protection improvements could be obtained without compromising helmet design, weight, or comfort with integrated airbag technology. It also showed that the addition of airbag technology inside the top of the helmet can significantly contribute to enhanced safety performance, especially in linear impacts. According to both companies, it is estimated that the risk for a cyclist to sustain moderate (mild concussion) to fatal head injuries is reduced from 80% to 30% in a 20 km/h (12 mph) impact.

Through its group companies, Autoliv develops, manufactures, and markets protective systems, such as airbags, seatbelts, and steering wheels for all major automotive manufacturers in the world. It also offers mobility safety solutions, such as pedestrian protection, connected safety services, and safety solutions for riders of powered two wheelers.

To learn more about the findings, click here.

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