Vision for the future of Driver Theory Tests demoed at HTC Vive Pro Eye event in London 

Belfast & London, 29thMay: Kainos, a leading provider of digital services and platforms, in conjunction with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), last week presented a prototype of an immersive, virtual reality (VR), driver hazard perception research platform. The platform, which uses the HTC Vive Pro Eye to provide an immersive driving experience, was demonstrated at the recent HTC launch event. The Kainos and DVSA innovation also uses the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology to analyse, collect and learn from data captured during virtual hazard perception simulations. Ultimately, it will offer a better understanding of driver behaviour, forming a vision of how immersive technology could be used to improve safety on our roads. 

Kainos was one of a select few partners invited to showcase their innovations at the event. Graham Wheeler, General Manager at HTC, Europe, commented: “Kainos’ work with DVSA to develop the future of the Driver Theory Test is a fantastic example of how the Vive Pro Eye is being used to create new tools and ways of working for enterprises. Using our eye-tracking technology, Kainos’ virtual reality hazard perception research platform can collate deeper data on driver behaviour and at a lower cost.”

Kainos and DVSA invested in the project with three key goals in mind:

  • To see if immersive tools could be used to reduce the cost of research into driver behaviour
  • To explore the extent to which eye-tracking data is as an indicator of a driver’s future behaviour as hazards develop
  • To understand whether eye-tracking data could be used to improve driver behaviour.

The virtual reality hazard perception research platform is an inspiring example of public-private sector co-creation. The platform achieves its aim of enabling cost-effective and scalable testing of driver hazard perception in a range of scenarios, providing the catalyst for world-class research on driver behaviour. Kainos and DVSA are now in contact with several academic institutions interested in research projects in this area.

Alex Fiddes,Programme Delivery Executive, Digital Services & Technology for the DVSA, explained: “DVSA is committed to making sure new drivers are better prepared for a lifetime of safe driving. In collaborating with Kainos’ Applied Innovation team it has been exciting to see how new immersive technology, coupled with data analytics and artificial intelligence, could improve DVSA’s understanding of driver behaviour.This powerful, scalable and cost-effective research platform will help inform how we might educate and test drivers in the future, helping improve road safety.”

The project with DVSA epitomises Kainos’ dedication to driving digital innovation and supporting public sector organisations to use technology to improve lives. It further establishes Kainos as a leading authority in emergent tech, most notably AI and immersive solutions. 

Tom Gray, Director of Innovation at Kainos, concludes: “Kainos is paving the way for the next wave of digital transformation through its clear focus and investment in driving innovation. Our approach is always to find the best solution, regardless of what the technology may be, and apply that solution in the right way to improve the user experience. This collaboration with DVSA, using Vive Pro Eye, is at the cutting edge of how humans and technology interact – it is a truly exciting example of combining immersive technology with AI to transform public services.”