A wirelessly connected inflatable airbag that provides greater protection for cyclists than a traditional bicycle helmet has been developed and produced by the Sweden-based company, Hövding. The ‘Hövding 3’ solution is designed to protect a rider’s head and neck from injury in the event of an accident. The lightweight product is worn around the neck as a waterproof, adjustable fabric collar and hood.
The Hövding 3 platform employs an accident detection system using built-in sensors and a proprietary algorithm based on artificial intelligence (AI) technology to monitor movement 200 times per second and detect any abnormalities. When specific movement patterns of cyclists in accidents are detected, the airbag inflates in 0.1 seconds.
In addition to its rider safety benefits, Hövding 3 uses the Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) wireless connectivity provided by the Laird BL652-SA-01 module with integrated antenna—based on the Nordic nRF52832 Bluetooth LE multiprotocol SoC—to report an accident involving the airbag inflation to the user’s smartphone.
From the smartphone, the associated ‘Hövding’ iOS and Android app sends a text message alert including the coordinates of the accident site to the user’s selected emergency contacts. Once the airbag has inflated, the companion app will wait two minutes before automatically notifying up to five emergency contacts.
Through the app, users can also take advantage of smart features such as battery status notifications, firmware updates, and individual biking statistics. In addition, data is collected and can be passed on to local councils to help improve road safety for cyclists.