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UK drivers will have to prove they can safely use a sat nav to get their license

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As part of an overhaul of the UK’s national driving exam, trainee drivers will be tested on their ability to follow directions from a sat nav. The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which licenses instructors and regulates driving tests, said it was updating the exam to include “more real life scenarios” that better reflect new demands on drivers.

The DVSA says about half of all car drivers in the UK use a sat nav of one form or another (including both standalone units and mobile apps), and that individuals needed to be able to safely manage the distraction. Examiners will provide drivers with a sat nav unit during their test and make sure it is positioned “appropriately and safely.” The examiner will input the route, and those taking the test will just have to follow directions.

UK transport minister Andrew Jones told BBC News that the changes would help the government keep roads safe. “Ensuring the driving test is relevant in the 21st century — for example, the introduction of sat navs, will go a long way towards doing this,” said Jones. Other updates include the introduction of new parking maneuvers, including driving into and reversing out of parking spaces. The new test will come into force on December 4th this year.