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Till some time ago people easily got a driving licence in India by simply pulling a few strings or even bribing an official here or there. Now things have taken a turn for the good as the driving test is now enforced properly as the test has been automated in Delhi. At the start of 2019, the capital of the country saw the first such automated test centre becoming operational in Mayur Vihar Phase-I and the subsequent months saw centres like Burari and Surajmal Vihar also take the automated route. Now that the centres have embraced automated technology also become operational. Since these centres are completely automatic, the residents of Delhi are facing a tough time passing the new automatic tests.
A recent report in a leading daily says that the ratio of number of candidate failing the driving test to the number of candidates applying for one has sharply gone up in recent times. The rise has been steep to say the least, as out of the total candidates who applied for a driving test at the aforementioned automated centres in Mayur Vihar, Surajmal Vihar and Burari, 48.9% of the candidates could not make it through. This is in sharp contrast with the erstwhile tally as before automation, the failure rate at the centres was only at around 16.2%.
The automated driving test centres grades candidates on 24 parameters with the data gathered with the help of sensors and high-res cameras installed across the facility. The automated test centres have 10 test patterns that constitute of 7 patterns for 4-wheelers and 3 for 2-wheelers. The test is time bound and the candidates must drive within the markings to pass the test. In the automated testing centres, candidates are asked to reverse 4-wheelers on a ‘S-shaped’ bend, drive uphill and go around an ‘8’ loop. Whereas 2-wheeler riders need to prove their riding skills on a serpentine track.
An unidentified official spoke about the automated tests and stated,
“The manual test only required applicants to drive in a straight line, while the new test is significantly harder as it has complex bends and gradients. As a result, we’ve noticed a sharp drop under the rigorous automated tests.”
The introduction of automated centres has not only brought to light the high failure rate of candidates but the new method has also seen the number of applicants for a driving license go down. The automated test centres have witnessed a sharp decline of nearly one-third candidates post the centres were automated. The new automated centres are maintained by Maruti Suzuki – the largest car manufacturer in India. In the coming times, all the test centres across Delhi will be automated so as to achieve a uniform result in the driving tests, no matter where a candidate applies for a driving licence.