While bike helmets are great at protecting your head from injuries, the other parts of your body are still exposed in the event of an impact. Enter the Cirrus airbag jacket, which auto-inflates in the case of an accident to protect the torso.
Designed by Paris-based startup Urban Circus, the outerwear looks like a normal jacket. It is both waterproof and windproof and features reflective panels that help the wearer stay seen and safe in the dark.
What sets it apart is the airbag which works with the help of two inertial measurement units (IMUs), which continuously monitor the speeds and orientations of the bike and the rider when on the move. One of the IMUs is located under the bicycle’s saddle, while the other one in the jacket.
Between the two of them, they instantaneously detect dangerous situations, including collisions with moving vehicles as well as stationary objects, or simply falling off the bike following a loss of control.
In any of these situations, the designers claim that, within 0.08 seconds, a CO2 cartridge in the Cirrus responds by inflating a built-in nylon airbag that covers the rider’s back, chest, abdomen, and back of their neck. By the time they hit the road — or whatever else is in the path — those areas should be considerably safer than without the jacket.
Within 10 minutes after it inflates, the airbag gets back to normal and is good for reuse. The only thing that the user has to do is to replace the CO2 cartridge, located behind a zipper inside the jacket. The electronics and the airbag can also be removed for washing.
Image source: Urban Circus