Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Dubai trials next phase of 'automated' driving tests

Drivers are to be analysed with sensors

A driver takes one of the high-tech tests. RTA
A driver takes one of the high-tech tests. RTA

Learner drivers in Dubai will have to impress more than just their instructor after trials of automated tests on roads began.

The Roads and Transport Agency said its ‘smart track’ system, which will see novice drivers analysed with sensors and on-board monitors, was successfully trialled for the first time on Monday.

Video and communication systems will be built into testing vehicles as part of a wider push towards making the driver testing process automated.

Data will be fed into a tablet computer viewed by an instructor, while facial recognition software will help clamp down on cheating by ensuring the candidate has not sent a better driver in his or her place.

“The use of advanced technologies in the smart testing system, such as the facial recognition, is not restricted to examinees only, but also includes examiners, thus marks a massive addition to transparency through the total elimination of mistaken identity,” said Abdullah Al Ali, chief executive of the RTA's Licensing Agency.

“It also enables the drivers licensing department to follow-up with the sustained quality improvements of testing processes.”

Last year, it was announced that Dubai would move towards automated testing, with authorities saying this would reduce errors. During drills that must be carried out, five cameras and more than 20 sensors already record the skills of drivers. This portion of the test does not take place on roads.

However, in future, data from journeys on the roads will also be automatically analysed. In an announcement, the RTA said this meant the introduction of “the first automated practical road testing of driver license applicants worldwide”.

It will allow customised and retraining programmes to be developed for trainees who could not pass their driver license tests. It will also help with dispute resolution, if a candidate claims they have been wrongly failed by an instructor.

Updated: July 15, 2019 06:08 PM

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