Teen learner first to pass test with sat nav

May 7, 2015 | By | In News

A Scottish teenager has become one of the first motorists in the UK to pass their driving test following directions from a sat nav, as part of a new trial which is being tested out at 20 UK driving test centres.

East Dunbartonshire 17-year old, Grant Ferguson, listened to directions pre-programmed into the sat nav system by his instructor for the first 20 minutes of the test, as one of approximately 1,000 learners to participate in this new test format by the end of the year, reports the Telegraph.

Other potential changes to the practical test could mean that learners no longer have to carry out a three-point turn or reverse around a corner, instead having to safely reverse out of a parking bay. Should these updates to the test be implemented after the trial, they would signify one of the biggest changes to the driving test since the theory exam was first introduced back in 1996.

Drivers are using the sat nav more and more now as a means of direction and the new test is designed to reflect this.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), learners will also be quizzed on safety questions while driving, rather than before they set off, as well as having to operate car functions including heated windscreens.

Talking about the trial, Mr Ferguson’s instructor Drew Nicol, told the Telegraph: “I think it's a good idea and much more realistic. Drivers are using the sat nav more and more now as a means of direction and the new test is designed to reflect this.

"The tester will be looking to see, for example, if the driver is looking too much at the sat nav instead of listening to it."

Several motoring groups are concerned about the potential removal of the three-point turn and reversing around a corner manoeuvres from the test. Expect to see numerous new drivers marooned down dead end streets, should these changes go through…

Picture: Jenny Thompson

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