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RTA goes live with smart yard test

Automated internal road test has been on trial since early last year

  • The smart yard control roomImage Credit: RTA
  • The test will use new technology on board a light vehicle fitted with a manual gear. The move is part of RTA’sImage Credit: RTA
Gulf News

Dubai: Yard test or the internal road test, a key milestone in the process of acquiring a driving licence, has been automated, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Monday.

The trial on the automated system, which involves multiples cameras and sensors taking readings of the driver’s maneuvers, began early last year and Gulf News was first to report about the project.

Rolled out at the Dubai Driving Centre’s Al Khail branch, the Smart Yard test will help reduce human errors in judgement and improve test results, said a senior RTA official.

Yard tests are conducted to test the basic skills of trainee drivers before they are taken out on the road for the final stage of training. The test has five components: parallel parking, roadside parking (60 degrees inclination), garage parking, slope (hill), and sudden braking.

The automation process has the Test Yard fitted with five surveillance cameras; four of them outside the vehicle to guide the candidate to the locations of the five maneuvers. The fifth camera is fitted on board the test vehicle to verify the identity of the driver during the test.

Apart from the cameras, the vehicle is equipped with more than 20 sensors to help the trainee avoid collision in case of approaching any obstacle.

“The yard is fitted with sensors that automatically transmit images of the test once the vehicle passes through them to a processor that spots mistakes made by the driver,” said Ahmad Hashim Behroozian, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agency.

He said that the captured images are transmitted to an interactive screen in a control tower installed in the testing yard where a staff will retrieve the results and use them in the assessment of the candidate.

The testing vehicle has an on-board tablet to explain the maneuvers through voice instructions at the time of testing in addition to a host of functions usable during the training phase.

“The Smart Testing system meets a number of objectives such as increasing the level of transparency, reducing the error margin in taking pass or fail decisions without the intervention of the examiner and enhancing the efficiency of testing steps through a consistent automated operation of smart vehicles,” said Behroozian.