Dr. Robert Hubbard, the co-inventor of the Head and Neck Support Device (HANS), died Tuesday.
A former professor in biomechanical engineering at Michigan State University, Hubbard created the HANS Device in the mid-80s with Jim Downing, his brother-in-law and a champion IMSA driver.
“Bob’s invention truly changed the world of auto racing safety and he was a kindhearted person who would help anyone in need,” HANS stated on its website. “He will be missed greatly.”
Hubbard and Downing set out to create the HANS device after the death of a racing friend as a result of a skull fracture. The duo began to develop, produce, sell and market the device in 1991, with Downing becoming the first driver to use the device when he wore an untested prototype in IMSA races.