Has ATGATT gone too far?
If riding wasn’t dangerous, would you still do it? Would it still be as much fun? This latest safety start-up is threatening to find out if they can render the sport of motorcycling less murderous, and plenty of people want nothing of it!
According to their very lean website, “airbagforbike” is in the midst of developing a full-body barrier to keep motorcyclists alive in the event of a potentially fatal crash. “The airbag deploys,” they explain, “only if the motorcycle is traveling at a certain speed and various motion sensors, gyroscopes detect a sudden deceleration, acceleration (if hit from behind) or loss of balance that would not be correctable by a human.” In the event that the algorithm triggers the sensors, a body barrier instantly inflates around the rider protecting them from impact.
Thing is, the slow-motion video clearly shows that both wrists and arms would receive full, unprotected impact when the cushioned cocoon bounced toward its final resting place. There is also no indication how a rider would eject themselves from this body bundle, nor if they would have functioning limbs to do this. It’s also not entirely clear that the compression wouldn’t crush the contents. Instead one must engage one’s imagination. That, or join the multitudes who would prefer to insult innovation.
I wasn’t witness to the debates about supposedly stifling, blinding, cumbersome helmets, but it’s all-too-easy to guess that they were quite similar. Although there are still staunch lid-resistors out there, statistics and anecdotal evidence have indicated that many more motorcyclists have helmets to thank for surviving to ride another day.
Inventions are rarely perfect the first time around. Early adopters help work out the kinks so the rest of us can benefit from the failed attempts, and subsequent improvements, and isn’t that great? It’s incredibly difficult to understand why anyone who wants to improve or preserve the lives of riders would receive so much criticism, but they do. I, for one, am out here cheering.