New Driving Test to be Introduced?

Friday, April 29, 2016

 

If autonomous cars become more popular on today's roads then we may see a drastic change in the way driving tests are operated.

 

According to an EU think tank, both drivers and cars should be put to the test in an all new driving test style that would only allow a person to control (or not control in this case) an autonomous car on the road.

 

The new test is expected to be drastically different to the one that British learners are currently required to pass now and is being adapted to prepare drivers on giving up their usual position behind the wheel and letting the autonomous car take control.

 

This news comes shortly after Swedish carmaker Volvo announced plans to run driverless car trials in London as from next year.

 

The trail known as Drive Me London, will consist of real families slowly relinquishing control of a semi-autonomous car in which data will be recorded in order to help develop the technology and to be able to adapt to real-life everyday conditions.

 

When announcing the news Håkan Samuelsson, president of Volvo Cars, stated;

 

"Autonomous driving (AD) represents a leap forward in car safety," adding that "the sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved."

 

The facts and figures suggest truth behind Samuelsson's statement as up to 90% of car accidents are caused by driver error and the research also stated that this can be reduced to at lease 30% once autonomous cars are introduced.

 

The recommended new style tests were suggested in a report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

 

A redraft of the rules to include "adapt driver training" so that drivers can "gain a working knowledge of them and how to use automation features and understand the basics, advantages and limits of technology".

 

The report also recommends for the driverless themselves to have to go through a thorough driving test;

 

"Revise type approval standards to cover all the new safety functions of automated vehicles, to the extent that an automated vehicle will pass a comprehensive equivalent to a 'driving test'. This should take into account high risk scenarios for occupants and road users outside the vehicle."

 

There has been little detail of what exactly the new tests will feature and whether manoeuvres such as exciting a three point turn or reversing around a corner will still be part of the test, but if we see a heavy increase of autonomous vehicles on the road then expect big changes to our driving tests to occur.

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