Hazards Perception Test System – 3D and Beyond

Interview with Arif Al Malik, Director of Drivers Training & Qualification Dept. Licensing Agency, RTA Dubai

An interview with Arif Al Malik, Director of Drivers Training & Qualification Dept. Licensing Agency, RTA Dubai for Middle East Talents Awards – the platform for young talents in the digital art field.

Question: We are hearing very much lately about the Hazards Perception Test System, that has been recently introduced into the drivers’ training and test system. Can you please tell us more about it and why did you decide to create it?

Answer: “In order to drive safely, the driver’s ability to perceive and forecast danger is of vital importance. However, this ability is usually gained through actual driving experience by many. Unfortunately for some drivers, this lack of hazard perception ability leads to tragic results especially for inexperienced drivers. This hazard perception test (and training) is intended to address that issue.”

Question: What is the value of such system for the road safety in general and for the new students?

Answer: From the perspective of RTA, hazard perception test system was introduced in 2 components with different yet interdependent objectives.”

       For the Hazard Perception Testing

  • To ensure early exposure of the learner drivers (especially the novice)  to dangerous driving situations (but in a safe environment)
  • To test the learner drivers’ ability to forecast, anticipate and identify the driving hazards.
  • To complement the current theory driving test and ensure the learner drivers are tested in wide ranging driving scenarios before they are issued license.

      For the Hazard Perception Training

  • To accelerate development of the learner drivers (especially the new ones) ability to forecast, identify driving hazards and apply appropriate actions.
  • To help the learner drivers develop their ability to drive safely by exposing them to realities of driving
  • To improve the hazard perception skills of learner drivers and enable them to pass the Hazard Perception Test.

Question: Middle East Talents Awards is a platform for young talents in the digital animation field, we understood that Hazard Perception Test System has been made fully in 3D/CGI? Why in 3D? How the students or artists interested in 3D can learn more about the process of creation?

Answer: “3D is in the foundation of the new young generation. As modern and innovative governmental institution, RTA decided to use the most modern technique and technology in order to reach the new generation of drivers. Besides, when we teach about safety and driving with hazards – it is much safer to simulate everything in Computer Generated Imagery rather than to do this in reality. We have to create perception towards hazards, not creating them.”

“This is also the advantage of the 3D. Recently, a technical workshop for students at the American University of the Emirates was held illustrating the steps to create it.”

Question: At GITEX, we have seen Hazards Perception demo, called VirtuDrive, based on the most innovative approach Virtual Reality. Can you tell us more about it?

Answer: “The VirtuDrive indeed is a virtual reality simulation of driving with Hazards on the most popular road in Dubai – Sheikh Zayed Road. The advantage is that in real time, this technology tracks your head position and makes you feel in absolutely photo-realistic environment in 360 degrees. Wherever you rotate your head you will be seeing something – a building on the side, a hazard, a person, a traffic accident or another passenger. This is a real simulation of the daily experience driving in Dubai. We have used Oculus Rift technology that is nowadays very well known in the VR field.”

Question:  Is there any place where we can try the VirtuDrive? Are you supporting university initiatives? If for example a university event requires it, will you be cooperating with them to showcase it to students?

Answer: “VirtuDrive was experienced last 28th of October, 2015 at the American University in the Emirates, for an event dedicated to “Education, Learning and Teaching in 3D” as part of Dubai Design week. We’ll be happy to collaborate with other universities as well.

Here’s the VirtuDrive by RTA Dubai held at GITEX 2015. Watch the video: