Vale Dr. Robert Hubbard

Thursday 07 February, 2019
Photo: MSUToday - Michigan State University

Dr Robert Hubbard, who was the co-inventor of the revolutionary HANS device, has passed away this week at his home in the United States.

The 75-year-old was behind one of the most influential inventions for motor sport safety, after patenting the frontal head restraint (FHR) alongside brother-in-law Jim Downing.

The overall design of the HANS device significantly reduces the risk of damage to the head and skull during an accident with a sudden stop.

Though the device was patented in the late 20th century, its development accelerated after receiving funding from the state of Michigan, General Motors and the Ford Motor Company.

The HANS device eventually became compulsory in the top-tier of global motor sport in categories such as CART, Formula 1 and locally with Supercars after the turn of the millennium. In 2014, CAMS implemented the mandatory use of frontal head restraints for competitors in international and national circuit races, rally/road and off road events.

More recently, FHRs became mandatory at multi-club level of rally within Australia.

Over the years, Dr Hubbard’s HANS device has saved the lives of numerous competitors who have required its services during a serious collision.

CAMS, and the Australian Institute for Motor Sport Safety (AIMSS), would like to thank Dr Hubbard’s contribution to saving the lives of motor sport participants globally, and extends its condolences to Dr Hubbard’s family and friends.