Research grants awarded to modernise automotive industry

Three research projects at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have been awarded grants totalling over $780,000 to modernise the Australian automotive industry.

The Commonwealth government-funded Automotive Engineering Graduate Program supports PhD students to work on research projects with a car industry partner. This way students receive industry relevant training.

The three projects at RMIT will look at developing modern technology around autonomous vehicles and smart monitoring systems.

The first involves the improvement of navigation systems for self-driving cars. With the support of industry partner Advanced Navigation researchers will explore the use of high-precision optical gyroscopes, similar to those used to create google maps, and integrate these onto photonic micro-chips. These would be small and cheap enough to be used in self driving cars.

In partnership with Forum 8 AU the second project will see researchers project the intended and unintended effects of emerging autonomous vehicle technology. A new computer tool will enable researchers to calculate likely issues with road safety, cyber security and privacy, shared mobility, ethical issues and fuel consumption.

The third project will see four PhD scholarships become available to investigate key areas where wireless technologies such as smart phones can impact user experience and well being of both automobile occupants and other road users. In partnership wiht Robert Bosch Australia new techniques will be explored to enable drivers to use their smart phones to enhance their driving experience and will help protect other road users.

Research Development Lead and Discipline Leader (Manufacturing & Mechatronics) at School of Engineering Dr Reza Hoseinnezhad said the grant success reinforced RMIT’s strength in mechanical and automotive engineering research.

The grants are part of  five million dollars in funding for 10 research projects given to seven universities and more than 100 post graduate engineers across Australia.

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