Dubai automates driving tests to reduce human error margin

Learner drivers taking their tests will be monitored with cameras and sensors that collect information and compare it to approved testing standards

Motoring school cars for learner drivers in Dubai. Ravindranath K / The National
Motoring school cars for learner drivers in Dubai. Ravindranath K / The National

A driving test in Dubai has been made 100 per cent automated after assessment officers were replaced with cameras and censors.

The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority announced the complete automation of driving tests on Monday, saying it would reduce the error margin for pass and fail decisions.

The process uses five cameras and more than 20 sensors that record the skills of the driver as they carry out the five-manoeuvre test. The collected data is then matched to the approved testing standards to determine whether the driver has passed or failed.

Drivers have to pass three separate tests to be granted a licence in Dubai. The yard test is the only one that is automated.

“The project aims to [bring] more transparency and reduce the error margin in making pass or fail decisions, in respect of the examinee, without human intervention,” said Khaled Alsalehi, director of drivers training and qualification in RTA’s Licensing Agency.

“[It] steps up the efficiency of the testing process.

“It also improves safety by using technology to avoid accidents,” he said.

The automated system has been implemented in 15 testing yards in Dubai.

“The yard is fitted with five surveillance cameras; four outside the testing vehicle to guide the examinee to the five manoeuvres, and one camera on board to verify the identity of the driver undertaking the test. The vehicle is also fitted with more than 20 sensors to assist the examinee in avoiding a collision when approaching an obstacle,” said Mr Alsalehi.

Cameras and sensors monitor the driver’s use of brakes and safety belt and relay the test images to an interactive screen at the control tower overseen by an RTA employee.

The automated testing system will eradicate concerns of drivers who claimed their results were affected by individual examiners’ misjudgment.

“The technology in place now eliminates this issue as it takes impartial decisions that cannot be challenged,” Mr Alsalehi said.

To earn a driving licence, candidates must pass three tests: the theoretical knowledge test, a yard test and a road test. The yard test comprises five steps: parallel parking, side parking (60° parking), garage parking, hill starts and sudden braking.

By automating the exams in the smart testing yard, more drivers can be monitored and tested at the same time. This increases the intake of candidates and reduces the length of the waiting lists.

Updated: June 24, 2019 03:31 PM


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