Honda has developed the first airbags for motorcycles. The airbag, which inflates after sensors detect an oncoming crash, will be available on the new Gold Wing motorcycle, on sale in spring 2006 in the US.
The airbag opens in front of the riders and reduces the speed at which they get thrown off the motorcylcle, lessening injuries when they hit the road or another vehicle, claims the company.
Meanwhile, Toyota has improved its pre-crash safety system by adding a driver-monitoring function that recognizes the orientation of the driver’s face and warns of a collision.
If the system detects probability of a collision when a driver is not looking straight ahead, then it turns on the warning light and buzzer. If the warning fails to make the driver face forward, the system determines that a collision is imminent and then automatically applies a slight brake for a moment to alert the driver to danger.
The system includes an automotive camera mounted on the steering column to monitor the orientation of the driver’s face. In addition, a computer is mounted to recognize the image of the driver’s face shot with the camera.