Government Grant Teams Industry and Universities to Save Lives of Motorbike Riders

The Federal Government has awarded Forcite Helmet Systems Pty Ltd (Forcite), the University of Canberra, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University and industry partners a $1,650,505 research grant to help reduce motorcycle accidents and fatalities with an advanced rider assistance system.

Forcite is partnering with the three universities, Transport for NSW, APPRO Photoelectron Inc., NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN), and Harley Davidson Australia over the multi-stage project to develop a next generation smart helmet and sensing system to pre-empt and identify hazards, such as debris and other road users, and alert riders so they can take evasive action. The cooperative project is worth a total $5,654,275.

“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, enabling swift evasive action,” said Forcite CEO and Co-Founder, Alfred Boyadgis.

“Along with the brightest minds in the industry, we’re proud to lead the charge in reducing risk and increasing the joy of riding. Forcite’s partnership with Australian universities, Harley-Davidson Australia, and Transport for NSW, backed by the CRC-P grant, will change the game for motorcycle safety,” he said.

The research project will consist of two stages: detection and intervention. The University of Canberra’s Human-Centred Technology (HCT) Research Centre will be leading the detection stage to develop the smart sensing system that will recognise other road users and hazards on the road.

“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 from the University of Canberra’s HCT Research Centre.

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.

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