To reduce the number of accidents and include more skilled drivers in its fleet, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) plans to start its automated test track by June this year.
The computerised test track, the first in India by any state transport body, will test an individual’s driving skills without any manual intervention. The track is being laid out on four-acre land in Bhosari, 10km north from Pune. The project is estimated to cost Rs2.3 crore. This track also will be used for refresher training as well for the 30,000 drivers working across Maharashtra.
The track will include a proper road with sharp turns, gradients, slopes, potholes and narrow roads to test the driving skill of an individual. The consoles will be in the form of computer chips and will be put under the test track to monitor every move of the driver. The data will be collected and monitored from a control room.
According to MSRTC officials, minute details such as when the drivers changes the gear, how much he accelerates on the narrow roads and his judgement on the sharp turns will be tested and recorded by the computer and then the driver will be selected in an impartial manner.
“This track will enable the driver to gain scientific training and give him a chance to rectify any technical faults,” said Deepak Kapoor, managing director and vice-chairman of MSRTC, adding that this method will help minimise accidents.
The MSRTC also plans to allow the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) and any private transport companies to conduct driving tests on the track for a fee of Rs50-60 per candidate.