RWTH: Automatic maneuver and fall detection for motorcycle test drives on proving grounds

Before newly developed vehicles and vehicle components are approved for use on public roads, they are often tested on special test sites. Motorbike test riders in particular are exposed to a considerable risk of accidents. The aim of the SiMT project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, was the first development of a comprehensive proving ground safety system for motorcycles as well. Such systems already exist for passenger cars and trucks and show how safety could be significantly increased there.

On the part of the RWTH, the Institute for Control Engineering, IRT for short, by Professor Dirk Abel and the Institute for Motor Vehicles, ika for short, by Professor Lutz Eckstein, were involved in the project: The IRT developed methods for localization and driving status estimation and the ika a motorcycle-specific human machine interface . The project was coordinated by mm-lab GmbH, which developed methods for detecting driving maneuvers and safety-relevant situations and integrated the individual components into the motorcycle-specific proving ground safety system.

Inspired by the existing proving ground safety systems for cars and trucks, hardware and software for motorcycle-specific requirements was developed from scratch as part of the project. Proving ground safety systems offer proving ground operators the opportunity to centrally monitor safety-related specifications (including maximum speeds, direction of travel specifications and access controls) and to identify dangerous situations at an early stage, which triggers warning messages in the control center and on the on-board units installed in the vehicles.

Motorbike-specific driving manoeuvres, collisions and other accident risks are detected in order to intelligently initiate warning or corrective measures. The Human Machine Interface also enables communication with the test drivers. As part of a final test at the Aldenhoven Testing Center, the functionalities of the developed system were successfully validated and it was shown that test sites equipped with the technology can offer motorcycle test riders a much safer working environment.