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ARC funds $5m for autonomous vehicles training centre

ARC funds $5m for autonomous vehicles training centre

Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation will be part of a new $5 million Australian Research Council training centre dedicated to autonomous vehicles for rural and remote Australia.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) recently announced that eight ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centres and five new ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs will share in $64.8 million in funding.

Of the training centres is the ARC Training Centre for Automated Vehicles in Rural and Remote Regions, led by Professor Sebastien Glaser from Queensland University of Technology. The training centre will build skills and capability to test and deploy safe, socially acceptable, automated vehicles for public roads in rural, regional and remote Australia.

It hopes to benefit manufacturing, agriculture, mining and defence industries that face significant challenges such as driver shortages, rising costs, long distances, rough roads, and environmental impacts. Dr Imali Hettiarachchi, from the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI), is one of the training centre’s chief investigators.

With extensive cross-disciplinary expertise in human performance, digital twins and autonomy, IISRI hopes to make a valuable contribution to the new training centre.

IIISR’s Dr Imali Hettiarachchi.

Dr Hettiarachchi specialises in human performance and cognitive state assessment using physiological signals, experimental design and signal processing.

Dr Hettiarachchi’s expertise will be used to create efficient support between a driver and the automated driving system. This will be achieved by integrating vehicle sensors and monitoring system data, enhancing the detection of operators’ attentive states. The goal is to design innovative automotive human-machine interfaces that promote safe attentional states during partial automated (or remote) driving.

“These new ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centres and Research Hubs will allow Australia’s best researchers to engage with critical industry partners to address current and future challenges faced by industrial sectors,” ARC Chief Executive Officer Judi Zielke said.

“They will also facilitate outstanding Higher Degree by Research and Postdoctoral training to equip an industry-ready workforce, strengthening Australia’s wider research capability nationally and internationally.”

Universities and industry organisations will also provide more than $227 million in additional funding for the new ARC Training Centres to help increase collaboration between innovative researchers and industries.

These contributions will allow researchers and students to access the latest technology, facilities, and to collaborate with leading industry experts to develop transformative solutions across government in Industrial Transformation Priority areas, such as Recycling and Clean Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing.

Take a look at the full list of successful ARC Training Centres and Research Hubs.


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