The UK Driving Test Will Soon Include a GPS Navigation Section


The UK is changing its driver’s license testing, and the process is getting a technological update for the modern era. As part of the practical exams given to new drivers starting in December 2017, potential licensees will have to prove that they are capable of navigating by GPS, The Verge reports.

According to the government announcement on the changes to the test, most would-be drivers will be required to follow directions from a satellite navigation device during their test. This “independent driving” portion of the test will last 20 minutes, about half the total amount of time of the exam. (The rest of the time drivers get turn-by-turn instructions from the person evaluating them.) Not everyone will be subject to the GPS test, though; one out of every five students will be asked to navigate based on traffic signs instead. The new exam procedure will debut on December 4, 2017.

It’s not a quiz about following directions—if you make a wrong turn, you won’t be penalized, unless you make a driving mistake that would otherwise get you dinged in another part of the test. You’re also allowed to ask the examiner for confirmation about where you’re headed. So it’s more of a test of your multitasking skills than your navigational ones.

[h/t The Verge]