Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced 100% automation of drivers’ tests through Smart Yard project. The process uses sophisticated technologies along with cameras and sensors fitted to testing vehicles to read the skills of examinees in the five-maneuver test and match them automatically to the approved testing standards.
“The project aims to hit multiple targets highlighted by bringing more transparency and reducing the error margin in taking the Pass or Fail decision in respect of the examinee without human intervention, thanks to the mart system in use. The process steps up the efficiency of the testing process through the automated and coherent operation of several smart vehicles. It also improves safety, thanks to the use of technology to avoid accidents,” said Khaled Alsalehi, Director of Drivers Training and Qualification Department in RTA’s Licensing Agency.
Explaining the benefits of the project, Alsalehi said, “The system has been applied to 15 testing yards in Dubai, and about 108,603 smart testing processes have been completed since the launch of the project.
“Innovation has become a defining feature of RTA projects and initiatives, and the smart testing yard is not an exception. 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 Al Salhi.
“Cameras and sensors capture the vehicle’s information, such as the use of brakes and safety belt, and relay the test images to an interactive screen at a control tower in the testing yard managed by RTA employee. At the same time, the test inputs (information and videos) are analysed by a high-speed processor on board the vehicle to assess the driver and decide on the test result (Pass or Fail) without any human intervention.
“The Smart Yard initiative has helped RTA to overcome another challenge; some examinees claiming that results of their tests were sometimes impacted by different perceptions of examiners about mistakes deemed worthy of re-testing. The technology in place now eliminates this issue as it takes impartial decisions that cannot be challenged,” he added.
It is noteworthy that the examinee has to pass three tests, namely the theoretical knowledge test, yard test, and the road test. The yard test comprises of five steps: parallel parking, side parking (60 degrees angle), garage parking, hill, and sudden braking.
The smart testing yard enables the monitoring of multiple examinees at a time, which reduces increases the intake of examinees and cuts the numbers on the waiting lists; a challenge we have managed to beat through this smart test.