Who knows best: TomTom or a new driver - Why Sat Nav shouldn't be used in driving tests

Friday, 9th January,2015

With technology always evolving, it is inevitable that other things need to move forward in order to keep up to date. Driving technologies are ever-changing and updates to the current driving test are necessary and the current review is the largest since the theory element to the test was introduced in 1996.

The theory aspect of the driving test in the UK was launched in 1996, followed by a 10-minute independent driving test in 2010. These new proposed changes are the first major alterations in almost 20 years and the possible introduction of the use of sat navigation is one of the most controversial. It has been proposed that drivers need to be able to follow directions from a satellite navigation system in order to be a competent driver. Another major change is the elimination of the mandatory three-point-turn, along with reversing around a corner as more attention will be paid to honing skills in order to merge into traffic from a slip road.

However, some drivers still use a good old fashioned map and simply follow street signs rather than rely on a sat nav and this is why AA President, Edmund King is opposed to using a satellite navigation system as part of the driving test: “Not all drivers can afford to own a sat nav nor do they all want to own one, and while it is not a legal obligation to have one in the car; it shouldn’t be part of the test.”

The new proposed changes will be tested on 100 driving students and the results will impact whether or not they will get given the go-ahead to be included.

Modern technology is moving forward at a rapid pace and with self-drive cars, electric cars and new intelligent systemsbeing introduced, it is fated that changes will need to be made. We will have to wait and see how the introduction of new technologies will continue to affect the driving test but some changes are clearly imminent.

For a period of time, the DVSA will be offering two versions of the test at selected test centres around the country.
ADIs that use the test centres listed below are now offered the opportunity to participate in the trial by attending a meeting on the dates stated below.
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