The Italian Police, MotoGP riders like Valentino Rossi and Marco Simoncelli and racing legend Giacomo Agostini are all helping Dainese promote their D-air Street airbag system for bikers
Dainese and the Italian Traffic Police teamed up for a press conference recently, to mark the opening of the Giro d'Italia 2011, one of the most well-known cycle races in Europe. The two teamed up to talk about road safety and about how the Dainese D-air Street can help with rider protection.
A result of 10 years of development work by D-tec, the Dainese Technology Centre, the D-air Stree i.p.s. (intelligent protection system) is essentially an airbag for motorcycle riders that will go on sale by the end of this year. In order to further test and evaluate the system, Police officers from the Giro d'Italia 2011 motorcycle escort will be the first to be equipped with the D-air Street system and will be assisted by Dainese technicians in recording and checking data during the various stages of the race.
According to Dainese, the D-air Street system has been developed through the experience gained with the D-air Racing system, which was designed for use on the racetrack and which is currently used by riders like Valentino Rossi, Marco Simoncelli and many others. Helping Dainese promote the D-air Street system is MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli and legendary multi-time world champion Giacomo Agostini.
‘The level of safety of pilots is much higher today than in my racing days. We had very thin suits that split as soon as you touched the ground. The first thing I asked Dainese for was a suit made with thicker leather, which made it heavier but offered much greater protection. With Dainese we studied how to make it comfortable while riding a motorcycle in racing position. These suits were then produced for all motorcycle riders, just as is happening now with the D-air, the air bag designed for races that will soon be available for all riders. With the right pilots and companies, competitions can be of great help to improve road safety,’ says Agostini.
‘I have been using the D-air since 2007 and I was the first rider to fall with it on the track, I hold that record! I understood just how important it [the D-air system] is when I fell in Malaysia during the 2010 tests. I would normally have broken my collarbone or shoulder with a fall like that, but instead I was able to get back on my bike and take part in the race without any problem. The D-air is really something – since trying it the first time I have never again ridden a bike without it,’ says Simoncelli.
The D-air Street system comprises two units – one on the bike and one on the rider. The unit attached to the bike includes accelerometer sensors on the bike’s forks and frame, and a central electronic control unit (ECU) housing the hardware and triggering algorithm software. Sensor positions are chosen to detect an impact as quickly as possible, thereby triggering the airbag and keeping the rider safe in the event of an accident.
The D-air unit attached to the rider includes a radio system for bi-directional bike-to-rider/pillion data transmission system that communicates constantly with the bike and triggers the D-air system upon the occurrence of a recognised event. There’s also a pneumatic system with ‘cold’ technology gas generators and 12L airbag with a patented 3D structure. In the event of a crash, the system triggers off the airbag, which inflates in 45 milliseconds and cushions the impact when the rider hits the tarmac.
For more about the D-air Street system, including videos that show how it actually works, visit the Dainese website here