Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This is not a Crash Test

Checking what's happening in the MotoGP and how Valentino is doing, i also surfed the website of Dainese (the major Italian producer of bikers suites and accessories) because they always have interesting stuff going on in their D-TEC section.
Among their researches for further safety improvements, there is D-AIR, the airbag for bikers - to be embedded in the vests - developed in collaboration with Merhav-AAP.

D-AIR® is a sophisticated protection system with three air-bags that inflate in about 30 milliseconds and maintain appreciable pressure up to 20 seconds after inflating. Such a high level of performance had previously been unachievable with traditional CO2 canister or conventional hot gas generators systems.
This new system protects the parts of the body most vulnerable to traumas: the entire upper half of the torso, neck and head, thanks to the revolutionary technology behind this extremely sophisticated device.

ELECTRONIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. The STM® (Sensing, Triggering and Memory) is run by a CPU that monitors sensor data and triggers the airbags inflation under certain conditions. The built-in memory serves as a 'Black-box'. The system is fitted with a self-diagnosis procedure that prevents undesirable inflation of the air bags in the event of a malfunction.
The system status information is available continuously to the rider on a graphic display. A vibramotor is also used to increase rider alertness, both under normal riding conditions and during a malfunction. An advanced Li-Ion rechargeable battery whose energy level is constantly displayed powers the STM®.
ACTIVATION SENSORS. The conventional method of a wire linking the rider with the vehicle used by other systems, has been phased out and replaced by a continuous electronic coded radio link between a sensor located on the motorcycle and a unit integrated into the garment.
When the values being sent exceed set levels, the STM® triggers the airbags inflation procedure. Transmission is protected against interference and is encoded. The information exchanged by the two units also includes an identification code personalizing each unit.
AIRBAGS. The airbags are ergonomically designed to provide maximum protection and are result of many hours of computer simulation and tests.

The current configuration comprises three gas generators and three air bags.
The gas generators, the same used by the automotive industry, employ "cold" technology, which produces high volumes of 'environmental friendly' gas, extremely rapidly without overheating the inflated areas. The gas generators are fitted onto a specially designed back support that is fastened at the waist by a large elastic strap.
The shape and technical features of the three air-bags are specially designed for D-AIR® and cover the rider's back, sides and chest for a total volume of around 90 litres.The air bags are part of the garment, are not seen and will deploy by breaking seams in the garment.
The AASMR®/STM® had passed with flying colours the electronic certification required by EU regulation and has received CE number certification.

Technical details and pics taken from

great news for bikers safety: D-AIR is an ongoing project though, you're not going to find anything on the market yet!
i was thinking that we lose the largest Harley market though: D-AIR is not applicable in US where, after years of back and forth between federal/local governement and the congress, still 26 states out of 50 have weak - or DONT HAVE - helmet laws! airbags are definetely a surplus here.

  • D-AIR in operation