Filter articles by:
Date published
Article keywords
Article type

UC researchers and partners awarded $1.65 million grant to help keep motorbike riders safe

Kailey Tonini

29 March 2023: The University of Canberra has been awarded a Federal Government Cooperative Research Centres Project (CRC-P) grant worth $1,650,505 to develop an advanced rider assistance system to help reduce motorcycle accidents and fatalities.

Researchers from the Faculty of Science and Technology’s Human-Centred Technology (HCT) Research Centre will collaborate with Forcite Helmet Systems , Western Sydney University, Macquarie University and more industry partners over the course of the multi-stage project. The University is expecting to receive $1.26 million for its part in the project.

“Collision avoidance systems in cars, such as lane departure alerts and autonomous emergency braking systems, are common in new models, but equivalent technology for motorcycles, which are far more vulnerable on the road, is still in its infancy,” said research team leader, Assistant Professor Ibrahim Radwan.

(Image left to right: Assistant Professor Ibrahim Radwan, Dr Karam Sallam, and Professor Roland Goecke from the University of Canberra.)

The CRC-P, worth a total $5,654,275, will develop Forcite’s second-generation smart helmet and sensing system to pre-empt and identify hazards, such as debris and obstacles ahead, and alert riders so they can take evasive action.

“The project consists mainly of two stages: detection and intervention. UC will lead the detection stage to develop the smart sensing system which facilitates recognising other road users and hazards on the road,” Dr Radwan said.

“At the same time, our colleagues at Western Sydney University and Macquarie University will be developing methods for hazard communication and intervention.”

"With motorcycle fatalities 30 times higher than other road users, it's time to take action. By bringing together cutting-edge smart helmet technology and advanced rider assistance systems, we can help pre-empt hazards, by enabling swift evasive action,” said Forcite CEO and Co-Founder, Alfred Boyadgis.

Associate Professor John Cass and Dr Tomas Trescak, researchers from the Western Sydney University’s MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, School of Computer, Data and Mathematical Sciences and School of Psychology, will employ neuroscientific principles to evaluate the effects of different types of helmet-based heads-up display information on rider behaviour and cognition using a custom-designed motorcycle simulation environment.

Professor Anina N Rich, from Macquarie University's School of Psychological Sciences, together with a grant-funded postdoctoral fellow, will draw on expertise in sensory and cognitive processing to support the cutting-edge project.

In a laboratory environment, the team will use cognitive science measures of attention and cognitive load, such as response time, accuracy, and eye movements, to optimise the delivery of information from the smart helmet to the rider.

The project is well-supported by multiple other industry partners:

  • Transport for NSW will be providing expertise regarding road safety standards and legislations.
  • APPRO Photoelectron Inc., a digital image processing technology company based in Taiwan, will co-design the camera system and verify the quality assurance for mass manufacture in partnership with researchers.
  • NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) will work alongside Forcite for the technical management and reporting over the life of the project.
  • Harley-Davidson Australia will provide electric motorbikes for testing.