The virtual simulator has been gathering dust in a room at the Mumbai Central Regional Transport Office (RTO) for nearly a year.
The machine is used to teach and conducting driving test simulated conditions.
The state transport department procured the simulator at the cost Rs 15 lakh each in January 2010. It is now in the process of purchasing and installing two machines at the Andheri and Wadala RTOs.
“We don’t want people coming for their driver’s licence to say that other RTOs don’t have this mechanism fitted and so there is no need for them to give the test on the simulator,” said a senior official from the transport department, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.
The department is trying to make use of virtual simulators mandatory as per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, before beginning it in a full-fledged manner.
“We want to fill all the loopholes before starting this scheme,” said an official from RTO.
This virtual simulator is programmed for tests in various driving conditions. Permit aspirants can give driving test in conditions like pothole-ridden roads, steep ghats and even snow-clad roads. A learner is asked to sit behind the wheels of the simulator and drive under observation of inspectors.
Each simulator test will cost about Rs 50. “We also want to give a proper name to this fee charged from users before implementing it,” said the official from the transport department.
Initially, private vehicle owners and heavy vehicle drivers would be asked to go through the test, which would then be extended for auto and taxi drivers.