Hövding, the Sweden-based manufacturer of an innovative airbag designed to protect cyclist’s heads in the event of a crash, says that a man featured in a video that showed the helmet deploying while he was putting his coat on was using it incorrectly.
The company says that the movements of the man in the video, posted to Instagram earlier this year and featured on road.cc yesterday, are similar to those that a cyclist would make during a crash, thereby triggering the airbag.
A company spokeswoman told road.cc: “Hövding should only be activated when you are cycling. The cyclist in the film unfortunately had it activated also off the bike. His movements are related to movements your body does during an accident. Hence the inflation.”
As for its deployment, she said: “The Hövding acted correctly, assuming the cyclist was on a bike given its activation,” adding that the company offered the man a replacement.
She underlined that the airbag should be deactivated when users are off the bike, saying: “When activated Hövding measures your movements 200 times per second and compares your movements with normal bike riding movements and movements your body will make in an accident.
“When you leave your bike and go in to a shopping mall, a hotel lobby or anywhere else you should always de-activate Hövding.”
Stressing that it was important that purchasers read the manual prior to using the product, she added that “Hövding to date has been in close to 200 real accidents and [has] protected the cyclist every time.”
Last year, Maria Krafft, head of division traffic safety & environment at Folksam, one of Sweden’s largest insurers, said: "Hövding is the biggest thing since the emergence of the cycle helmet and, as a milestone, is equivalent to when the airbag was developed for cars."
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.