There will not be major changes in the track design, and tests too will be similar to the existing ones, except it will be fully automatic.
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The RTO will install automated tracks that will have sensors at every turn and curve and monitor the vehicle’s movement. This system assesses performance and delivers results in real-time. Other than the tracks, there will also be overhead cameras to assess the driving. All the results from the sensors and the cameras will be displayed on a computer, which removes the need for any other person to be in the vehicle on the test track.
In January, a pilot project will be launched at Gandhinagar RTO. The system ensures that people with proper driving skills qualify for a licence. This also prevents corruption as it prohibits any manual interference. Gandhinagar RTO will be the first fully computerised driving test centre with no human interface.
According to a survey, 59% of people in India do not even give a test to get a driving licence. As far as fundamental rules of driving are concerned, only 12% are completely aware of the three-second rule of driving. Furthermore, less than 10 % are aware of the concept of hydroplaning (7%) and blind spots (8%).
After Gandhinagar, Gujarat plans to install the automated system in Ahmedabad and then the rest of the cities. Ahmedabad will have three testing tracks for both two-wheelers and cars. This will help increase the test capacity by six times. Currently, about 8 lakh people take driving tests annually in Gujarat.
A similar project is also happening by Microsoft Research Project since October 2019 at the RTO Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The project called Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety (HAMS) helps evaluate drivers during their driving test.
“The main challenge in the traditional driver’s licence test is the burden placed on the human evaluators and the resulting subjectivity that a candidate faces. Automation using HAMS technology can not only help relieve evaluators of the burden but also make the process objective and transparent for candidates,” said Venkat Padmanabhan, Deputy Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, who started the HAMS project in 2016.