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Hazard Perception Test gets CGI revamp

Published: 18 December 2014

The hazard perception element of the driving theory test will get a completely new and up-to-date look thanks to a computer-generated makeover to try and make the driving test reflect more real world situations.

Currently filmed video clips are used to test candidates’ reactions to hazards, and potential hazards, developing ahead of them. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has now updated these with clearer and more detailed CGI clips.

A statement from the DVSA says: “New CGI clips will be introduced to the test from early next year. The first new clips show the same situations as the filmed clips, but are clearer on the screen and include updated vehicles, roads and surroundings to reflect modern day driving.

“Using CGI will also allow DVSA to develop new clips in the future that include a wider range of hazards, for example including situations with vulnerable road users like children or cyclists that would previously have been difficult to film. The CGI clips could also include a range of driving conditions, such as night time driving or bad weather.”

DVSA Chief Executive Alastair Peoples said:

“The theory test plays an essential role in making sure that new drivers know the Highway Code and the rules of the road. Research has shown how effective the hazard perception test is in reducing the number of crashes involving newly qualified drivers.  

“Using CGI clips in the hazard perception test will allow us to present clearer, more up to date situations, ensuring the test fully reflects the realities of modern day driving.”

DVSA worked with Nottingham University’s Accident Research Unit to trial the CGI clips. Research Fellow Dr Peter Chapman said:

 “In our research we found that CGI clips retained all the benefits of traditional videos in discriminating between good and bad candidates, whilst allowing a more attractive, flexible, and up-to-date test."

Every year around 1.5m hazard perception tests are taken as part of the theory test, with an average pass rate of 85 percent for the hazard perception section.

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