Bike airbag tested in crash test
A special Bike Crash Airbag was successfully demonstrated at the Automotive Campus in Helmond. This airbag is the result of research commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and the Dutch Cyclists' Union in order to improve the traffic safety of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
Under the considerable interest of an international audience, including several car manufacturers, a dummy mounted on a bicycle was hit at 40 km per hour by a car fitted with the airbag. The airbag activated correctly, thereby properly protecting the head and upper body parts of the dummy.
In recent years, almost 100 cyclists and 50 pedestrians per year were killed in accidents involving a car. Under commission by Minister Schultz van Haegen (Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment) and the Dutch Cyclists' Union, the SaveCAP consortium of companies researched the most appropriate solutions to the problem of reducing the number of traffic casualties among cyclists and pedestrians. Fitting automobiles with an automatic braking system and/or an airbag on the windscreen seem most promising.
Volvo already has an airbag for pedestrians and an automatic braking system in one of their models on the market. These two features are slightly more difficult to achieve for cyclists. Cyclists have to be detected earlier. For pedestrians, a sensor that detects something straight ahead is sufficient, but for cyclists this is not good enough. The sensor developed in the SaveCAP project allows cyclists to be detected in a 40-degree arc. The cyclist' s airbag (which is also very effective for pedestrians) is larger than the pedestrian airbag and, in particular, covers the door jambs.
According to TNO, the research shows that a combination of automatic braking and the airbag would have allowed 70 cyclist and 30 pedestrians per year to survive the accidens in the Netherlands. Similar results are expected for those seriously injured. According to TNO it will take about 5 years