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    MOT Computerisation - an insight Archived Message

    Posted by Peter Warman on February 21, 2004, 5:11 pm

    Thought this may be of interest as the new MOT test approaches

    Extract from RMI Autotech Magazine
    VOSA's Garry York

    "In the last edition of Auto Technician we looked at what Vehicle Testing Stations (VTS) would need to do to prepare themselves and their garages for MOT Computerisation. This time round we will take a look at the system iteself, what kit makes up a VTS Device, and give you an overview of how the system will work once it goes live.

    From the garage's point of view the most visible sign of the new MOT Computerisation system will be the VTS Device. It will be installed in their garage so they can register a vehicle for test, receive a checklist specific to that vehicle and on which they will record the results of the test.
    The VTS Device looks like a normal, stand-alone PC but it can only operate MOT Computerisation. Consequently, it cannot be used for any other administrative tasks - except those related to MOT testing. The base unit, for example, is sealed and has no facility for reading floppy discs or CDs. This is an added security precaution against viruses and hackers.
    The VTS Device is made up of a base unit, the brains of the equipment, a monitor (the screen), and a keyboard and mouse for navigating the system and entering information. A Smart Card reader controls access to the system, a modem allows the VTS Device to communicate with the central database through a telephone line, and a printer enables certificates, failure notices and other documentation to be printed, instead of being completed by hand.

    Using the System

    Each authorised vehicle tester will be issued with a personal Smart Card which will have their name, colour photo and User ID printed on it. Details of their role and which classes of vehicle they are authorised to test are held electronically within the card.
    When an authorised tester wants to carry out a MOT test on a vehicle using MOT Computerisation they will place their Smart Card in the reader and enter their personal password into the system. It is important that they do not reveal their password to anyone or lend out their card because if an attempt was made to use it fraudulently the owner would be responsible and the security benefits of the system might be reduced.
    Once the tester has entered this information they will be presented with a list of functions that they can perform - this is personalised to the individual based on their role and other details derived from their Smart Card.
    In order to carry out a MOT test the tester will select 'Register Vehicle for Test' from this list of functions. They will then enter the registration mark, the last six digits of the VIN number plus one or two other details, such as the test class, fuel type and number of seats. The system then connects to the main database, which has access to a copy of the DVLA database. When the system has found a match it downloads the vehicle details. The tester will add more details to enable the system to identify the exact version of the vehicle. When it has narrowed its search down to eight or less possible vehicles, the
    tester will be presented with a list from which to select the exact version. On selection, the tester will be presented with detailed information about the vehicle known as vehicle specific information (VSI). This includes any vehicle recall information. The vehicle details and extracts from the VSI, such as the brake weights, jacking points and any points to look out for on the particular type of vehicle will be used by the system to generate a Checklist (VT40) specific to the vehicle being tested. The tester prints this off and uses it to carry out the test.
    The tester performs the MOT test in the normal way recording the test information on the back of the Checklist. The only difference to the test under Computerisation is that when the tester comes to perform the emissions test they will insert their Smart Card into a second reader attached to th EGA. The results of the emissions test are then captured automatically on the Smart Card.
    Once the MOT test is finished, the tester goes back to the VTS Device and logs on, but this time selects 'Enter Test Results'. The results from the emissions test recorded on the Smart Card are automatically input from the card. The tester then enters the brake test results and any RFRs and/or advisories.
    If the vehicle has failed the test, the tester is given a series of reasons for failure. Rather than type out the reason for failure in full they simply 'click' on the item and the full reason is then entered onto the failure notice. This means the reasons are always consistent and the tester doesn't need to worry about using incorrect terminology. Another advantage is that the system knows the exact vehicle being tested so it will not let the tester accidentally choose and invalid reason for failure, which is not relevant for that car - for example failing a pre-1992 car which does not have side repeaters.

    Once the test results have been entered the tester will confirm his findings and then pring the failure notice (VT30), which is given to the vehicle presenter.
    If the vehicle has passed the test, the tester will enter the brake results and confirm the test as a 'pass'. They then print off the new receipt-style MOT test certificate (VT20). If the vehicle has passed but there is advisory work to report then this too is recorded on a computer-produced advisory note(VT32) and this is given to the vehicle presenter along with their certificate.
    One of the features of the new receipt-style test certificate is that it shows if any advisory notice has been issued. As well as acting as a reminder of work that is needed it also acts as a 'flag' to someone buying the car to check whether the advisories have been actioned."

    Thanks to Wendy for typing this up

    The only comment i have, is that they anticipate the test to take about 40 minutes.....hhmmmmm


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