HelmetHub solar-powered vending machines are dispensing bicycle helmets to the active bicycle community of Boston. Now, for just $2 you can rent a helmet, or purchase one for a few dollars more.
We’ve followed the HelmetHub idea from its original inception by MIT design students, through concept development and market readiness. Our interview with Chris Mills, HelmetHub co founder revealed the strategic direction for the innovative start-up and their ambitious plans to install helmet vending systems at bike sharing stations world-wide.
This limited release will give the systems a real-world test before all 18 units are to installed around Boston, by the end of October. Market research indicates that helmet availability with bike share stations will increase utilization rates, for both helmet and non-helmet wearing users.
Mayor Tom Menino’s office released data, in conjunction with the HelmetHub roll-out, indicating that 52% of bicycle accidents that were attended to by emergency medical first responders, were not wearing helmets. With this in mind, clearly there is a massive liability issue for cities that offer bicycle sharing, but no helmet.
If the Boston case study proves successful for HelmetHub and Hubway, then we can reasonably expect to see helmet vending rapidly adopted in other areas.