Alpinestars unveiled its first autonomous airbag system during this year’s CES show in Las Vegas. The Tech-Air 5, as it’s called, is a big step forward for riders looking to stay safe on the road, since it can be worn underneath any well-fitting textile jacket, not just an Alpinestars Tech-Air designed piece. The Tech-Air 5 can also be worn underneath any leather jacket, provided it has at least 4 cm (1.6 inches) of extra space around the circumference of the rider’s chest.
We got a close look at the vest prior to CES last month, but to recap, it’s equipped with six integrated sensors and a crash algorithm that determines when to deploy the airbag function. It provides protection to the rider’s shoulders, chest, ribs, and back and inflates in 20–40 milliseconds when it determines a crash is imminent.
If you already have an Alpinestars Tech-Air garment, or like the looks of them and want to add one to your kit, the Tech-Air 5 is compatible with those as well.
The Tech-Air 5 is Bluetooth compatible and when used with the Tech-Air app, will display information around the vest’s operational status, battery status, and ride analysis. The lithium-ion battery powering the vest has a life of 30 hours, and comes with a micro USB charger for easy recharging.
This milestone represents a broadening of airbag technology that previously was either relegated to the ranks of professionals, or required purchasing compatible garments in order to function properly. Alpinestars started testing on its first airbag systems back in 2001 and didn’t bring the technology to market until 2011. In 2014, the Tech-Air Street system debuted, followed by the Tech-Air Race in 2016.