Driving test in 2023 may not use assessor; cameras, sensors will examine drivers instead

A van-cake was jointly cut by Singapore Road Safety Council members and Mr Shanmugam.
A van-cake was jointly cut by Singapore Road Safety Council members and Mr Shanmugam.ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

SINGAPORE - A driving test in 2023 might involve cameras and sensors, and not a tester in the passenger seat.

This was announced on Saturday (Oct 21) by Mr K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, who provided details of an Intelligent Driving Circuit (IDC) which will use intelligent cameras and sensors to assess drivers during practical lessons and tests.

Mr Shanmugam, who was guest of honour at the Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) Gala Dinner 2017, said: "Using technology to conduct driving lessons and tests will enhance the effectiveness of lessons, increase productivity and allow lessons to be taken outside of the current operating hours to better suit learners' schedules.

"The result of it is that the period of learning can be substantially shortened."

The IDC will be trialled by the Traffic Police at the Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDC) in 2021. The plan is to get "full implementation" at SSDC in 2023, Mr Shanmugam said. The dinner, held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, was to also celebrate 110 years of the Automobile Association of Singapore (AA).

In his speech, Mr Shanmugam said road safety strategies include building a culture of gracious driving. He said he tries to observe the two-second rule in order to maintain ample braking distance from the car ahead.

But someone occasionally "cuts in", Mr Shanmugam recounted to laughter from the audience.

"Many of us who drive have enough experience with people who are irritated, who are less than gracious, who think that every second matters to an extent where they have to cut ahead. We want to change that culture, and make it a bit more gracious," said the minister.

The theme of SRSC and the Traffic Police's Safer Road campaign this year is "Choose Graciousness".

At the event, SRSC chairman and AA president Bernard Tay said that the association and SRSC pursue a common goal of enhancing road safety in Singapore.

"With community partnerships come a greater sharing of resources, inclusivity and a greater unity of purpose to deliver road safety programmes that are more holistic and sustainable to the public," he said.

Dinner guests were treated to a yellow mini-van cake decorated with AA colours, driven remotely at the venue by Mr Nicholas Ang, who took four days to make the 110kg cake.

It required four men to carry the cake onstage where Mr Shanmugam and members of the SRSC cut the cake.