The future of driver’s licenses

We caught up with Aimane Ait El Madani, VP Passports & Driver’s License at IDEMIA to find out more about the driving license challenges governments are facing and the technologies they will need to implement in order to securely identify drivers.

Read time: 4 minutes
Aimane Ait El Madani, VP Passports & Driver’s License at IDEMIA

Hello Aimane, we appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Let’s jump straight in with our first question – could you explain why it is so essential to secure driver’s licenses?

Today, driver’s licenses are much more than a simple permit to drive a vehicle. In many countries, driver’s licenses are an official and secure form of citizen ID, alongside a passport. It is not uncommon for driver’s licenses to be used as proof of ID to open bank accounts and access age-restricted services.

In that case, driver’s licenses need to be as secure as passports. Recently, there has been a lot of talk about mobile licenses – could you tell us more about them and the security features they include?

Of course, let’s talk about security features first – using high-tech security features means that citizens have a document that is hard to reproduce, yet easy to authenticate by authorities. Portrait protection, data interlinking and Optical Machine Authentication are examples of the many security features that IDEMIA has developed and integrated into our latest driver’s licenses. Now onto mobile documents – at IDEMIA, we envision a world where everyone will have a digital version of their physical document. This will be greatly beneficial for citizens, as they will have a trusted credential that can be authenticated online or in-person. They will also be able to share specific information, without divulging all their personal details. Not only that, but renewing a driver’s license or updating details such as name and/or address will be done in real-time, and initiated directly from the smartphone app.

Keeping that in mind, could you tell me how IDEMIA is also innovating driving test processes?

In most countries, applicants need to complete theory and practical tests to prove they know how to drive a vehicle safely and that they can follow road regulations. But this process can be somewhat arduous and time-consuming, very often due to a lack of examiners. To streamline the process, IDEMIA has come up with a new way of taking driving tests. Using our expertise in software development and video analytics, we have created secure and automated knowledge and driving test solutions. Applicants can do both tests, without any supervision, and receive an instant pass/fail notification – the results are automatically synchronized with the central driving database. Thanks to these solutions our customers, such as the Indian Government, are able to easily manage a large volume of applicants. And drivers get to experience a fast and convenient test process.

How does IDEMIA manage theory tests?

By implementing automated knowledge testing – this helps test centers speed up the process and decrease the time spent on administrative tasks. Our solution makes tracking tests more convenient for applicants. We also produce a random unique test for each applicant, reducing the risk of fraudulent behavior. Driving test centers conduct tests on PCs or kiosks via user-friendly interfaces with advanced multimedia – this automatically ties the test to the applicant’s record, increasing speed and efficiency.

Has IDEMIA developed the same solution for practical driving tests?

Not exactly, because a practical test demonstrates the applicant’s driving capability. Our solution is based on the latest video motion analysis and uses cameras that are placed on the track and in the vehicle. By automating the entire process, it is easier and more accurate to assess whether or not an applicant is capable of driving safely and if they should be given a full driver’s license.

What are the benefits of automated test tracking for applicants?

Automated test tracking ensures transparency and objectivity during the entire process and allows applicants to receive a time-bound service without bias. Should the applicant pass their test, their driver’s license is issued on the spot.

There is a lot of talk of automated vehicles – does this mean the end of driver’s licenses?

Not at all, we are far from such a radical shift. Driving is not just about moving from point A to point B, but rather enjoying your journey and the freedom of being able to get up and go whenever you please. Driving standards are evolving and drivers are looking for easier, faster and more flexible solutions to apply, renew and receive a license and access online services.

Thank you very much for your time Aimane and for helping us better understand the future of driving tests. Would you like to add anything else?

Just one last thing, at IDEMIA, we strive to create solutions that make citizens’ lives easier. This is why we are so engaged in transforming the driving test experience.


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