Theory test gets CGI


The hazard perception section of the driving theory test is set to be updated with computer generated imagery (CGI) early next year. The aim is to test candidates’ awareness of risk in more modern, realistic driving environments and situations.

Filmed video clips are currently used to test candidates’ reactions to developing hazards on the road and though the scenarios are still relevant, the image quality isn’t as clear as modern digital technology allows. The first new CGI 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.”

The hazard perception test was recently recognised with a major international road safety award, taking the top prize at this year’s Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards for reducing the number of crashes involving newly qualified drivers. The introduction of the hazard perception test in 2002 is associated with an 11 per cent reduction in crashes.

Graeme Hay, BMF's Government Relations Executive, commented: “The DVSA is overhauling the hazard perception test films and has released this early sample [below]. The images are much better and the BMF are delighted to see motorcyclists featured so clearly in this crucial early learning for new drivers.”

Every year around 1.5m hazard perception tests are taken as part of the theory test, with an average pass rate of 85 per cent for the hazard perception section. See the new CGI video clip below and tell us what you think of it.