BMW and Alpinestars team up for Tech-Air-based motorcycle gear
BMWMotorrad and Alpinestars have just launched an exclusive partnership todevelop airbag safety clothing. The first product from the pairing will be a motorcycle jacketequipped with an airbag waistcoat based on Alpinestars' Tech-Air airbag technology.
Alpinestars touts its Tech-Air as the world’s first self-contained street airbag system designed to functionwithout the need for sensors to be fitted to the motorcycle. This eliminates the need forany kind of installation or pairing with a specific bike. All the rider has todo is zip up their jacket and the system is activated.
An LED displaylocated on the sleeve provides visual confirmation the system is active and displays thebattery’s charging level. When fully charged, its battery pack should be good for 25hours of continuous use, with Alpinestars adding that one hour of charging is sufficient forfour hours of riding time.
The airbagis controlled by a small electronic unit housed in a durable, water resistant casingand uses an algorithm to detect imminent danger. This custom analysis softwareowes its sophistication to the experience harvested from MotoGP and theTech-Air race airbag system developed by and for world champions Marc Marquez,Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
The algorithm of the street version has beenoptimized to identify all possible danger situations, including low- andhigh-side collisions. It even detects accidents that occur when the motorcycle is stationary, such as a rear impact while waiting at the traffic lights, for example.
Depending on the accident type, the system will typically detect an impactwithin 30 to 60 milliseconds and deploy in the subsequent 25 ms, promisingprotection to the chest, kidney areas, back and shoulders.
Interchangeabilityis another strong selling point for the Tech-Air system. Although it can only beused in combination with specifically designed jackets, one airbag vest can be attachedto different Tech-Air jackets depending on motorcycle type, weather conditionsor simply the rider’s desire.
The BMW Motorrad jacket, which will carry branding of both BMW and Alpinestars and come in male and female versions, is set to make its public debut later this year.
The following video shows the AlpinestarsTech-Air street airbag system in action and outlines its functions.