Dainese‘s D-Air airbag suit may have been created for motorcycle riders, but the MotoGP-developed technology may soon find its way into another consumer base: commercial vehicles.
The Industrial Vehicle Corporation (Iveco), an Italian truck, bus and diesel engine maker, is adopting the D-Air technology to protect drivers of larger commercial vehicles. According to Iveco, commercial vehicle drivers face different risks than drivers of smaller vehicles. Airbags in smaller vehicles are designed to protect passengers during collisions. With larger commercial vehicles however, the main danger is not from impacts but rather the vehicle rolling over.
As such, conventional airbags such as those found in passenger cars are less effective for a large semi. Instead, Iveco is using Dainese’s D-Air technology to create a protective shell that surrounds passengers and seats. The shell, using the D-Air system’s high-pressure bags, inflates in a controlled shape around the passengers, providing shock absorption from either side, protecting them in the event of a vehicle rollover.
According to Dainese, the D-Air technology offers faster deployment times and increased protective volume while weighing less than other systems. The Dainese airbags can also be formed into different shapes to minimize bulk and provide improved ergonomics. Iveco plans to apply the concept to both heavy-duty vehicles like its Stralis truck or lighter vehicles like school buses.
Iveco will display prototypes of the Dainese D-Air seats at the 2012 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) commercial vehicle show in Hanover, Germany, Sept. 20-27.