The PIONEERS project: Protective innovations of new equipment for increased cyclist safety

PIONEERS (Innovations in the protection of new equipment for increased cyclist safety) is a European project aimed at reducing the number of killed and seriously injured two-wheeler (PTW) riders by focusing on safety, performance, comfort and the rate of use of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the development of new on-board safety devices.

Applus + IDIADA played a key role in coordinating the entire project, ensuring its successful execution through professional and efficient management in order to achieve the project objectives. In addition, Applus + IDIADA has conducted a Work Package whose main objective is transfer of results from other work packages into reliable test methods, and associated evaluation to ensure user protection with the best balance between repeatability, reproducibility and reliability of tests.

The PIONEERS project carried out a detailed analysis of more than 1,400 real and serious accidents involving drivers of motorized two-wheelers with the aim of better understand the factors that generate the most injuries.

Various safety devices were tested during the project and, although some of these elements are still in the pilot phase and are not yet available on the market, the research concludes that the deployment of these accessories could contribute to reduce, under certain conditions, up to 24% of biker deaths. At the same time, at European level and over a period of 5 years, savings of up to 140 million euros could be obtained for administrations.

The initiative was launched in 2018 and is led by a consortium made up of 16 international partners, including two Spanish entities: Applus + IDIADA, specialist in the design, engineering, testing and homologation of vehicles, and RACC, a Mobility Services Club. The other participating entities are five universities (Florence, Strasbourg, Munich, Darmstadt and Gustave Eiffel University in Paris), two research centers (BASt in Germany and Neura in Australia), an industrial company (Bosch), four OEMs (Dainese-AGV, Alpinestars, Rev’it and Motoairbag) and two motorcycle manufacturers (Piaggio and Ducati Group).

The objectives of the PIONEERS project

In order to reduce the number of bikers killed, PIONEERS offers the need to improve user safety from an integrated perspective, that is to say, it designates both personal protective equipment and accessories integrated into the vehicle. Thus, the European consortium focused on four complementary objectives:

  • learn more about common biker injuries

  • to increase the performance of security systems

  • develop better testing and evaluation methodologies

  • and increase awareness and use of protective equipment

Solutions developed as part of the project to improve cyclist safety

During the second half of the PIONEERS lifespan, the project developed the solutions that were identified in the first half.

One of the four main pillars of the PIONEERS project was develop a new set of personal protective equipment (PPE) for motorcyclists, which exceeds the current state of the art. The four industrial partners of the project worked in parallel tasks within WP4, each aiming to develop improved PPE for the four main regions of the human body addressed by the project, which are to manage, torso, Bowl and lower legs.

DAINESE has developed new energy absorption concepts for the manufacture of helmet liners with advanced brain protection. The technologies explored were 3D printing and the use of modular structures made with more conventional and economical manufacturing processes. A replacement for standard EPS coatings was sought. These slippers have two fundamental limitations which have been corrected with new technology: they are unable to effectively handle the impacts that cause sudden and dangerous head rotations and they are not breathable.

REV’IT! developed a inflatable protection, as well as the clothing to accommodate this PPE, aimed at improving the brand’s state of the art in terms of thorax protection. Throughout the development process, different manufacturing methods, technologies, structures and designs of airbags have been studied to optimize the protective performance of the inflatable. This process resulted in an airbag system incorporated into a comfortable garment. PPE complies with applicable European standards for both airbags and motorcycle clothing.

MOTOAIRBAG has developed a new airbag for thorax protection. Emphasis has been placed on expanding the use of protective airbags conforming to the European standard. Price to the end user, user friendliness, high protection, reliability and comfort guided the development. A full working prototype has been produced and has passed EU protection requirements.

DAINESE has developed a new concept of protection for the pelvis. Motorcycle accidents are the most common cause of traumatic urogenital injuries, but there are no countermeasures for their prevention. The solution explored the potential of protecting technical clothing against soft tissue injuries caused by the fuel tank in the genital area.

ALPINESTARS has developed a tour starter prototype with improved protection performance. After selecting the technical characteristics to be improved, the development consisted of the design of the shock absorption elements and the internal structure of the ankle. The built prototype has been tested against ankle and tibia impacts, inversion / eversion and flexion / extension. The results were compared to those of the most popular hiking and sports shoes.

The results obtained in terms of on-board systems are two side impact mitigation demonstrators installed on vehicles: namely safety leg covers suitable for scooter type vehicles and a motorcycle side airbag.

PIAGGIO has developed a Safety leg covers of the same concept of true standard leg covers by simply adding two or three protective elements attached to the inside of the cover, corresponding to the position of the legs. Such elements are solid or articulated bars made of materials characterized by the following characteristics: lightness, high absorbency, low memory, rapid reforming performance.

DUCATI has developed a motorcycle side airbag the preliminary idea of ​​an effective way to reduce common leg injuries of cyclists in side impact with cars. It should be noted that no motorcycle model equipped with a side airbag protection system is yet available on the market. The knee airbag modules have been mounted on a Ducati Multistrada vehicle taking into account the arrangement of other parts, such as the exhaust system, engine and fairings.

Final event of the PIONEERS project in Barcelona

The 29the In September, in Barcelona, ​​the closing ceremony of the European project PIONEERS took place, during which all members of the consortium met other international organizations with the aim of increasing safety and reducing the number of deaths and of serious injuries in motorcycle accidents. This initiative, launched in 2018, received financing of the European Union under the Horizon 2020 program, with a total budget of 4.83 million euros. The research concludes that if the initiatives developed as part of the study are implemented, under certain conditions, the number of motorcycle accident victims could be reduced by up to 19%.

Open activity focused on three acts:

A press conference addressed to the international media

In this activity, Enric Soriano (coordinator of the PIONEERS project) presented the project and gave the floor to Ignasi Ferrer (innovation director of Applus + IDIADA), who explained the importance of these types of projects and encouraged the EC to continue to invest in the safety of runners.

A press conference addressed to the Spanish media

Taking advantage of the physical presence of important Spanish authorities at the event. The PIONEERS project organized an activity with Pere Navarro (Spanish Directorate of Road Traffic), Ramon Lamiel (Catalan Road Traffic Service), Josep Mateu (President of the Catalan Mobility Club) and Ignasi Ferrer (Director of Innovation at Applus + IDIADA). In this activity, Ricard Casalins (responsible for the dissemination of PIONEERS) made a general presentation of the Project for the Spanish press.

A general presentation intended for European players

During the afternoon session, the leaders of the PIONEERS working groups explained the main results of the project. At the end of the presentation, some physical prototypes were shown and explained in detail.


Applus Services SA published this content on 25 November 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on November 25, 2021 08:29:05 AM UTC.

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