AIT and TU Wien Make Motorcycling Safer


Successful conclusion of the research project “viaMotorrad”: novel measuring method as the basis for reducing the number of accidents

Vienna (AIT): For years, the number of fatal traffic accidents in Austria has been falling. While 686 people died in road accidents in 2007, 400 people were killed in accidents on Austria’s roads in 2018. Although this is the lowest level since recording began, the number of fatal accidents involving motorcycles nevertheless continued to rise in the same period.

The probability of having an accident with a motorcycle is still much higher than with a car. Complex vehicle dynamics and driving physics result in driving errors, especially in the case of inexperienced bikers. These errors then naturally have a more severe impact as the vehicle lacks any protective outer shell or crumple zone.

MoProVe: a high-tech bike for the safety of two-wheelers
In order to better understand the causes of motorbike accidents, the road safety experts at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology’s Center for Mobility Systems worked alongside scientists from the TU Wien’s Institute of Mechanics and Mechatronics to develop the MoProVe (Motorcycle Probe Vehicle) as part of the research project “viaMotorrad”. This is a KTM 1290 Super Adventure that has been approved for use on the road and was converted into a high-performance measuring vehicle with high-precision sensors and video systems, as well as side cases packed with technology that can record the exact condition of the motorbike every second.

Extensive validation of the analysed measured data has shown that risky road sections in the Austrian road network can already be clearly identified even before accidents happen. Whereas in the past steps to increase the safety of motorcycles were taken based primarily on accident frequency, the Motorcycle Probe Vehicle now constitutes a tool with which safety can be boosted proactively.

Data on vehicle dynamics, driving line and routing, among others, are collected by repeatedly riding the MoProVe along selected roads. This data is then augmented with external variables such as weather, traffic volume and route environment and analysed using a novel machine learning method. The results indicate road sections that are particularly risky for motorcyclists. These were in fact often accident black spots in the past, as comparisons with so-called “Road Safety Inspections” have shown. So by implication, forecasts can be made for possible areas of danger in future.

Measuring safety objectively and avoiding accidents
Work within the framework of “viaMotorrad“ has now been successfully concluded, six motorcycle routes were used to showcase the great potential of the Motorcycle Probe Vehicle with regard to accident prevention. It is now within the power of the federal, provincial and local authorities to have motorcycle routes tested with the MoProVe, in order to find out where accidents could happen in future and as a consequence to take the necessary steps proactively.

Klemens Schwieger, project leader and road safety expert at the AIT Center for Mobility Systems, says: “The Motorcycle Probe Vehicle has made it possible to measure safety objectively. In addition to adjustment of speed and anticipatory driving, it is in our view crucial to be provided with an error-forgiving road, because even the slightest carelessness can have dire consequences. Moreover, some factors, such as insufficient grip on the road, cannot be identified in advance, not even by the most experienced motorcyclists. The use of our measuring vehicle can, therefore, play a decisive role in making motorcycling safer. It provides those who operate roads with the precise information they need to reduce the danger in these black spots efficiently, sustainably and cost-effectively and thus in turn also save lives.”

The project "viaMotorrad" was funded by the Road Safety Fund (VSF) of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Technology (bmvit).

Further information:

Further Information about the Center:


Mag. Florian Hainz BA
Marketing and Communications
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
Center for Mobility Systems
T +43 (0)50550-4518 I

Mag. Michael H. Hlava
Head of Corporate and Marketing Communications
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
T +43 (0)50550-4014 I


MoProVe (c) AIT_Johannes Zinner