Police to adopt VR-based driving ability test for old people in 2025

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : November 29, 2021, 10:18 | Updated : November 29, 2021, 10:18

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- Police will embark on the research and development of a virtual reality-based driving ability evaluation solution for those aged 65 and older. The solution will become a stepping stone for the adoption of conditional driver's licenses for elderlies in a rapidly aging country where about 15 percent of the population is aged over 64.
 
According to data compiled by the Road Traffic Authority's Traffic Accident Analysis System, out of 209,654 road accidents in 2020, 31,072 were caused by old people. The fatality rate of elderly traffic accidents accounted for 46 percent. To prevent accidents, old people have been encouraged to surrender licenses in return for subsidies and public transport coupons, but the participation rate was low at 2.8 percent.
 
The most frequent road accident cases are old taxi drivers. About 40 percent of 241,029 taxi drivers are aged 65 and more as of November 9, 2021. The Korea Transportation Safety Authority (TS) adopted driving ability evaluation tests for old commercial vehicle drivers in 2019. Taxi, bus, and freight truck drivers are required to go through cognitive skills and memory capabilities to maintain licenses.
 
The National Police Agency launched a three-year project to develop evaluation methods using virtual reality (VR) technology that would determine whether an old driver can maintain a conditional license. The VR solution will test driving, cognitive and memory skills using a VR headset. VR technology is used in dementia clinics to check the brain functions of old people.
 
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