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Hövding is an airbag bicycle helmet, invented by Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin in Malmö, Sweden in 2005. The invention was launched on the market in 2011.[1][2]

The invention was initially created as part of a thesis project for the founders' Master of Industrial Design at the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University in Sweden.[3] Their studies included the comparison of accelerometer data from bicycle crashes against 'typical' cycling.[4] The Hövding contains accelerometers that detect these unusual movements and deploy the airbag if the movement patterns match the profile of a crash.[5] Each helmet also contains a "Black Box" that records the accelerometer data 10 seconds before a deployment.[6] This data can be used by the Hövding developers to improve the product. The Hövding collar is constructed of a waterproof material, and has interchangeable fabric "shells" that allow colour customisation.[5] Hövding is CE certified.[1] Hövding is the Swedish word for 'chieftain', but it is also means 'headed'.


Hövding has won the worlds biggest design award Index:Award 2011,[7] and D&AD Award in 2012.[8]

Some of the themes of criticism that appear in online forums, are shared with criticism on strong promotion of helmets for cycling, while other arguments pertain to its selling price and doubts regarding efficacy of the Hövding design in certain types of crashes or dangers posed by it. An example of the former is "... when the bulk of cyclists wear helmets (and NOT wearing a helmet is thus considered contributory negligence in criminal and compensation cases) the burden of responsibility for safety is transferred onto the cyclist rather than the people who cause what risk there is: drivers and road planners.".[9] An example of the second is "A risk of accidental triggering would be more likely to either be the cause of an accident or distract from any avoiding action." [10]


  1. ^ a b Venessa Wong (April 26, 2012). "An "Invisible" Bike Helmet From Sweden". Business Week. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Sarah Nylund (April 23, 2012). "Hövding återkallar cykelhjälmar". Sydsvenskan. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Who We Are". Hövding Sverige AB. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Invisible helmet, airbag for cyclists designed in Malmö". Bikestorming.org. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "How Hövding Works". Hövding Sverige AB. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "After an Accident". Hövding Sverige AB. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Alice Rawsthorn (September 4, 2011). "This Contest Takes the Prize". New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "WWinners - Hšvding". D&AD. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Pidd, Helen (22 October 2010). "Would you trust an airbag helmet?". London: Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Laker, Laura (22 May 2012). "Will the airbag bike helmet be the way forward?". London: Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 

External websites[edit]

Hövding website