Over a ten year period in the US more than 44,000 motorcyclists have died after being involved in crashes while riding. Now the team behind new smart helmet technology is hoping it will save lives by automatically alerting emergency services when the rider is involved in a collision.
The headset, called the X-1 and developed by APEX, is a Bluetooth headset that sends out a distress signal when it senses a collision.
Using gyroscopes and accelerometers in modern smart-phones it detects rapid deceleration, change in position, G-forces and distance traveled in relation to time to detect when an accident has happened.
The headset works with a smartphone app which uses GPS navigation to send the rider’s position to the authorities also allows medical information to be stored and provided to emergency responders.
Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is part of the US Department of Transportation, show that while there has been a slight decrease in the number of motorcyclists dying each year the number is still high.
The most recent statistics show more than 4,600 motorcyclists died in 2011 – compared to 3,200 in 2002 – a further 81,000 were injured. This amounted to 14% of all traffic fatalities in the US during 2011.
Being able to alert emergency authorities as soon as a rider is involved in a crash or collision and speed up the time it takes for them to arrive could help to save lives.
The inventors behind the piece of tech are now trying to raise funds to further develop the product through a crowd-funded Indiegogo campaign.
They are looking to raise a total of $15,000 to help finalise the software design and fund the first run of production. The money will also help to ensure the device is patent protected and available to riders by the summer of this year.
Writing on their funding page the founders say: “APEX is here for a singular purpose: to save the lives of riders everywhere. Having lost loved ones to fatal accidents, the founders of APEX have a personal stake in motorcycle safety.
“We realized there had to be a way to make the riding experience safer, without sacrificing what makes it so appealing to so many.”
The headset also uses Bluetooth technology to allow the rider to listen to music or call others using their phones.
Images courtesy of Apex Technologies