This summer, Boston is rolling out a network of vending machines that rent out helmets next to the stalls of its Hubway bike share system. "The concept for Helmethub originated from twelve MIT undergraduates and was first revealed during their 2011 Product Engineering Final Presentation, a product-design course that tasks students with building prototypes from scratch in one semester," writes Kyana Gordon. "Since then, the company has worked tirelessly to refine their product offering in preparation for a street debut."
"Each solar-powered vending machine holds thirty-six helmets and features a touchscreen like those on Hubway rental kiosks. Rentals cost around $2 and riders will also have the option to purchase one. When a cyclist has finished with their helmet, they return it to the location they’re dropping off their borrowed bike, and it will then be sent to the company’s headquarters to be inspected and sanitized before being distributed again," she explains.