The inaugural Australian Institute of Motorsport Safety (AIMSS) Safety Summit was highlighted by joint winners for the Speedcafe.com Pitch My Project session.
Introduced to find the next big breakthrough in motorsport safety, the session took place as part of the virtual summit featuring global experts and guests Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean.
As well as bringing important issues to light, the initiative provided a platform for safety concepts and projects to get off the ground.
Lisa Skaife from MyRaceSchool and Andrew Ryan from AF Accessories were declared the joint winners of the Pitch My Project segment.
MyRaceSchool is an engaging race track safety education tool aiming to bridge the gap between theory and practical driver training.
The concept stems from Lisa Skaife's successful road safety simulation program, MyDriveSchool which teaches teenagers how to drive on the road.
MyRaceSchool would be a standardised simulation test with core topics and be mandatory for a driver to get their competition licence.
“We have the existing code and proprietary engine to develop programs quickly and economically,” Skaife told Speedcafe.com.
“MyRaceSchool can automate and standardise training, assessment and licencing procedures to reduce costs and risk.
“But more than that, MyRaceSchool has the capacity to engage a wider online audience digitally.
“Motorsport can benefit greatly from using technologies such as eSports, gaming, blockchain, and AI to build an online presence that can be transferred to ‘real world' involvement, whether it be as a competitor, spectator, volunteer or official.
“I'm really excited about MyRaceSchool – I think it has huge potential with many applications.
“Programs can be made for any discipline globally. There is a direct correlation of skills from online to ‘real world', and MyRaceSchool could be a great tool for the FIA.
“To develop this project we will require funding, and as winners hopefully we'll get the opportunity to present the project to the FIA Innovation Fund managers.”
Andrew Ryan from AF Accessories presented the Aurras noise-cancelling microphone, which is set to radically change in-car communications.
The technology has been developed by engineers and is a patented system that virtually cuts out all ambient noise before it reaches the receiver.
This provides the driver, or race engineers in the garage or pit lane with a crystal clear communication signal even at high speed.
As such more accurate communication can be passed around while a driver is out on track, and with improved communication comes improved safety.
“It all came from the migration from analogue to digital in the mid-200s and we had huge issues with ambient noise and no-one had the answer,” said Ryan.
“I had a very good friend who very recently passed away, he was my mentor, he was an electronics engineer and taught me everything I know.
“Together we recognised the problem and we knew there needed to be a solution and the work started about a decade ago before ramping things up 18 months ago.
“We started AF Accessories in 2019 and moved forward with a patent that we cleared in nine months flat at an international level, which usually takes four years.
“Our technology is thousands of percent better than anything on the market and we've actually improved the capabilities of artificial intelligence and voice recognition software.”
The winning ideas will be assessed further and stand the chance of being developed and supported by AIMSS.