The Federal Office of Road Safety (Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications) has today announced the awarding of a Road Safety Innovation Fund (Round 2) grant for a project that will take another important step forward in increasing the safety of people on bikes. Dr Ben Beck, Head of Monash University’s Sustainable Mobility and Safety Research group, will lead an interdisciplinary team of researchers in developing on-bike technology that will capture near-miss events between bike riders and motorists in the real world.
Given that injury rates in pedal cyclists are on the rise, and how safe someone feels when riding a bike is the key barrier to increased participation, identifying where unsafe events occur is critical to advancing cycling as an active mode of transport.
Dr Beck says, “Developing a validated cyclist safety data capture system will transform our ability to identify unsafe locations before serious crashes occur, and identify where additional infrastructure is needed. This new system will enable us to collect crowd-sourced data across Australia and enhance safety and comfort for people who ride bikes.”
Dr Beck brings together internationally recognised experts in state-of-the-art machine learning and computer vision methods to develop this novel technology. This includes Monash University colleagues Professor Dana Kulic (Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), Dr Akansel Cosgun (Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering) and Dr Xiaojun Chang (Department of Data Science & AI).
Dr Beck says, “As someone who rides a bike, I love the experience of cycling and the benefits it has for health and the environment. But I am also aware of the limitations of much of our existing infrastructure. Improving cyclist safety is an important step in encouraging even more Australians to take up this active and sustainable mode of transport, and I welcome the government’s investment in this project.”