You still have to drive around with an Ohio BMV employee for the in-car skills test. This driver sim could make the driver’s test even harder!
Ohio resident Lena Patterson spotted and posted up a photo of two driver sims at a Columbus, Ohio BMV with the caption, “Our new driver road test” implying that this would replace the in-car skills test.
That’s unfortunately not true.
These two terminals are part of the Driver Simulator Pilot Program and have been there for at least two years. First introduced in 2017 and installed at this Morse Road location, the Pilot Program was part of the “Drive Toward a Safer Ohio Initaitive,” itself a partnership between the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Ohio State University.
The test is a 10-minute pre-assessment that soon, all new first time drivers will have to take before their actual in-person driving test.
According to the Sidney Daily News,
The driver simulators will provide a pretest assessment at the BMV Driver Examination stations by testing applicants on their ability to appropriately respond to routine traffic stops, traffic lights, emergency vehicles, stop signs, railroad crossing, cross walks and school zones. The assessment score will not affect the ability to obtain a driver’s license, but will only serve as diagnostic data for the BMV and CHOP during the pilot program.
This pre-assessment is used to identify weaknesses in new drivers and to improve research and the overall data Ohio has on inexperienced drivers.
In some cases, these terminals are also used as a medical diagnostic tool to assess elderly drivers or drivers with a medical condition that might warrant their licenses being revoked.
I posed the question on Reddit, what these terminals were for, and at least one commenter replied with a story of how his elderly mother was forced to take this test with an out-of-pocket cost of $400.
“My almost 70-yr. old Mother has nerve issues and her doctors insist she must be able to pass one of these simulator tests before even being allowed to take an actual road test to get her license renewed.
Not only does she know herself she’s not going to pass the test, it’s like $300-400 to even take it. So it’s kind of forcing her to come to terms with the situation…”
According to the Columbus Dispatch, all (57) Ohio BMV locations should have these driving simulator terminals installed already, that is, if their 2019 plan to roll them out went as scheduled.
To further prove the point, Ohio’s Gov. said,
“This is not a substitute for getting into a vehicle. This is not a simulator.”
So, I hate to break it to you, Ohio. These driving sims are not some Gran Turismo GTA-Style driving test that will replace scheduling an in-person test. You’ll still have to let Sherry from the Ohio BMV ride shotgun as she scrutinizes your every mistake.