Today at Eicma in Milan, Italian clothing company Tucano Urbano announced a collaboration with French safety company In&motion which resulted in the development of the Airscud TN Flex safety vest.
For those outside of Italy, you may not realise that in urban areas especially, local riders don’t always take safety as seriously as maybe some of us in the UK do. During the presentation in Milan, Florian Martin, marketing director of the Mandelli Group (which owns Tucano Urbano) said, “We have to get into the habit of not just riding onto the saddle in jeans, T-shirt and… flip-flops. We see too many of them in the city moving around like that, completely unaware of the dangers they are facing, among tram tracks, cobblestones, kerbs, potholes… That’s why we wanted to create a new airbag vest that would provide ultimate comfort with ultimate style, at a very competitive price for a high-tech product.”
I recall Tucano Urbano’s previous ventures into the world of airbags in clothing in the late 90s/ early 2000s. In fact I still have one of their jackets with an airbag in it that was operated via ripcord, like a parachute, designed to be activated should you go flying off your scooter.
Their latest product however uses modern technology to detect an accident.
Available from next summer at an RRP of 299.99 Euros, two versions of the new Airscud TM Flex have been designed, for ladies and for gents. Fully lined in mesh, “it is made of two high tenacity fabrics: polyester mesh on the chest and back for ventilation and lightness; polyester mechanical stretch on the hips and shoulders to ensure lightness, comfort and a perfect fit in any version.” It has CE Class C certification (oversuit) so it can be worn in three ways: under any motorbike jacket; over your own motorbike jacket or outfit (it is abrasion-proof with a water repellent construction to protect the In&box area and ventilation provided by the mesh); or under a backpack (with a maximum weight of 8kg).
Being Italian, style of course is important, hence the clean lines and the attention to detail.
In&motion’s engineers are apparently constantly collecting and analysing data from thousands of riders on the roads all over the world, totalling 150 million kilometres with over 7,000 crashes, recorded and studied in great detail. This enables them to make new and improved versions of the airbag detection and deployment algorithm available to all users.
They tell us, “Thanks to seven sensors – three accelerometers, three gyroscopes and a GPS – the measurement algorithm reads operating parameters a thousand times a second and, if necessary, triggers the world’s fastest activation, less than sixty milliseconds – faster than blinking. If the system detects risk, it inflates the airbag to provide complete coverage for vital areas: chest, abdomen, neck and spine.”
On top of purchasing the vest, you also have to pay for an In&box via their app, which is what operates the airbags. For this you can choose to either rent one using the subscription plan that best suits your needs (currently 10€ per month for the annual plan or 12€ per month which can be suspended for up to 4 months at 4 € per month), or you can buy the In&box directly for 400€. With the subscription service you get a lifetime warranty and a lifetime of technology and detection updates. If you buy it outright you get updates and the warranty is restricted to a year or two (tbc).
MotoGP and Superbike rider Marco Melandri is the brand ambassador behind this Tucano Urbano Airscud TM Flex and has made this little video below to promote it.
For more details including updates of when we can expect it to arrive in the UK, keep an eye on www.tucanourbano.com