Using a Triumph Daytona 675 motorcycle mounted on a custom rig, the simulator incorporates 'STI-SIM Drive' simulation software which projects different riding scenarios onto a large screen in front of the rider.
There have been three groups of riders studied, namely novice, experienced and those who had taken advanced motorcycle training. The three groups of riders were put through identical scenarios on the simulator as well as other lab tasks.
The findings showed that experience on its own does not make riders safer on the road and in some cases the experienced riders behaved more like novice riders. Advanced riders used better road positioning to anticipate and respond to hazards, kept to urban speed limits, and actually made better progress through bends than riders without the formal advanced training.
“It has demonstrated clear differences between the rider groups and potential benefits to advanced training above and beyond rider experience and basic training. Whilst experience seems to help develop rider skills to an extent, advanced training appears to develop deeper levels of awareness, perception and responsibility. It also appears to make riders better urban riders and quicker, smoother and safer riders in rural settings," said Alex Stedmon from the Human Factors Research Group.
"This is real cutting edge research and the hazard perception results, in particular, have shown that advanced riders were quicker to identify hazards and had a greater awareness on their responsibility to themselves and other road users," added David Crundall from the School of Psychology.