Bangalore's new hi-tech driving test

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Bangalore:  A man in uniform shouts in Kannada, "fail maadi!"

The recipient of the news looks dejected.  He knows he accelerated too heavily when he was trying to make his way up a slope.  He was hoping nobody had noticed the car rolling back.  Sensors beeped his mistakes out loud and clear. Big fat "F".  

Set up on 1.2 acres, off the Mysore Road, this is the country's first automated track in Bangalore. It's currently in pilot project mode. Drivers who want licenses are randomly selected for it. A computer monitors and times the entire test, including reversing, kerb parking, and uphill driving. Rs 50 and six minutes later, the test is complete.  Drivers are then taken onto a regular street -the current laws don't allow for that part to be done away with.

23-year-old Sameer, a car mechanic, aced the automated track test. That's cause for celebration.  As also the fact that he didn't have to bribe anyone to get his license. ''My friends too had come this morning to take the test. But they saw this slope and ran away!'' he says.

Officials say the digital test is a bonus for them too.  ''No madam, no chance for bribery. The computer captures and shows if a driver drove well or not. There is no room for argument because the examiner is a machine, not a man,'' says  K P Gangadhar Acharya, Motor Vehicle Inspector

So far, about twenty of these automated track tests are conducted every day.   "No politician can push their candidate. The test is so transparent,'' says Bhaskar Rao, Transport Commissioner of Karnataka.




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