Funded by: Honda Motor Europe Ltd.

Start date: 19 Apr. 2006          End date:


Partners: Honda Motor Europe Ltd., Human Technology Lab (HTlab; University of Padova), Goldsmith College of London, i2 media research, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics of Tübingen

The ‘HRT Psychological Evaluation’ project is a joint research plan that Honda Motor Europe Ltd. and the Department of General Psychology of University of Padua (Italy) announced with the sign of the agreement in 19 April 2006. The international partnership involves Goldsmith College of London and its spin-off company i2 media research (United Kingdom) and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics of Tubingen (Germany).

The main goal of the project is the evaluation of the effectiveness of Honda Riding Trainer (HRT) to improve motorbike riders’ performance (enhancing their motorcycle skills, attention, safe-riding related personality traits and hazard perception) and to provide an objective assessment of it. The performances on HRT are affected by different psychological factors that contribute to determine the driving behaviour with effects derived by their specific processes or by their interaction.  25% of the events involved in an operation are related to dexterity (handiness), 75% to decision-making. The effects of HRT procedure on motor abilities will be investigated to understand the adoption of a safety riding style by the expected users. Attentive processes are necessary to select relevant informations. HRT practice could help to train attention-related factors which importance is highlighted by the potential dangerous connotation of some information on the visual scene during a driving experience.

The quantitative and qualitative analysis of a multitude of data (brake events, accelerations, speed, error and warnings provided by the HRT itself, responses to questionnaire, video recording of the trials) has the aim to derive a “hazard situation scale” and a definition of the changes that HRT can induce in the users’ performance-related variables (motor skills, safety driving style, hazard awareness…) also in relation to personality traits. Investigating (thanks to ethnographic methods, video-recordings and interaction-conversation analysis) the role of social setting during training is fundamental to understand which different contexts can ameliorate the learning process and to design them in according to the conclusions of the studies. Each construct will be studied under a specific perspective and methodology: from this multiple approach emerges the need of a multidisciplinar unit of research groups, to mix their expertise to realize a complete and organic psychological evaluation of the tool.

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