Dramatic "Safety Sphere" concept provides all-round protection for motorcyclistsView gallery - 4 images
Airbags for motorcyclists, whether built into the vehicle (a la Honda) or the rider's apparel (like the D-Air, Spidi and Hit-Air), are not a new idea. But Canadian inventor Rejean Neron's Safety Sphere concept has to be the most, well, all-encompassing of those we've seen. Described as an "inflatable crash garment for non-enclosed vehicle riders", Safety Sphere isn't so much built into the rider's suit as it is the rider's suit. In the event of an accident, the intended results are nothing if not dramatic, as the CG video promo ably illustrates.
The Safety Sphere is comprised of two layers. The outer layer is made of tough, parachute-like material while the inside is a thin, elastic synthetic. Should the worst happen, the suit effectively surrounds the rider with airbag, (rather than her being inside an airbag, which would be no use at all).
Inflation of the Safety Sphere is triggered electrically. "In a collision situation, the passengers are thrown from the motorcycle," Neron told Motorcycle News. "The cord connecting them to the motorcycle seat disconnects, the electrical voltage plummets, and the electronic circuit processor inside the belt buckle housing of each occupant connects the 9 volt battery to an electric igniter in the back housing of their respective suits."
Motorcycle News reports that this triggers an explosive canister of nitrocellulose to fire, inflating the suit in 0.05 seconds.
At this stage all we have to go on is the CG video, and though it's definitely worth watching (see below), there's no indication of how far advanced the project is in reality.
Source: Motorcycle News