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What connected MOT equipment means for you

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: MOT Modernisation, News and updates

A roller brake tester

As you know we’re introducing connected technology to the MOT, starting with connected roller brake testers from October this year.

We’ve wanted to do this for a while, but the technology hasn’t been ready.  That’s changed recently and we’re now able to take vehicle testing forward, saving you time and improving accuracy.

More accurate testing

Modern testing equipment now captures lots of information about a vehicle in real time. But we still ask you to manually key that information into the MOT computer.

This is prone to errors and adds time to the test. Connecting equipment directly to the MOT system will reduce errors and save time. In the long term, this will help to reduce or eliminate the number of incorrectly entered results, as well as stopping incorrectly entered vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and mileage.

Headlight alignment is also still a major source of errors in the test. The modern connected headlight aligner will assess the headlamp aim for the tester and send the result straight to the MOT system.

Using this technology will not only make testing more accurate, it will also help reduce fraud. This is because an actual roller brake test will have to have taken place for a result to be recorded.

At the moment, a roller brake test result can theoretically be entered without any evidence of a roller brake test having taken place. Connected equipment will make it more difficult for dishonest testers.

Saving you time

One big advantage of connected MOT equipment will be the time it saves MOT garages. Instead of a tester carrying out a test, noting down the result, then entering it manually, it will be recorded instantly.

The time saved per test won’t be massive – we think it should save you a couple of minutes per test - but when you do hundreds of tests a year, the savings will add up.

Future proofing

Vehicle technology is changing. Systems such as Advanced Driver-Assistance System (ADAS) and lane departure are becoming the norm.  And as we slowly adopt hybrid and electric vehicles and, longer term, autonomous vehicles, the MOT test needs to keep pace.

That means we need to use the latest technology that can match the most up to date vehicles. That will involve creating a fully integrated, digital MOT service fit for the 21st century. Introducing MOT equipment that can connect and directly report to the MOT testing service is an important part of that process.

Working with the manufacturers

We’ve been trialling connected equipment with manufacturers for over a year. This includes:

  • roller brake testers
  • emissions analysers
  • decelerometers
  • headlight testers

We’re also experimenting with connecting to vehicles during the MOT via the European on-Board Diagnostic port (EOBD).  We’ve successfully extracted the VIN, the mileage and, in some cases, fault codes from a high percentage of vehicles.

As well as this, we’re discussing adding number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) into the test bay. Having a photo of every vehicle will help with registering the vehicle for test and reduce fraud.

A view from the ground

The Test Centre in Deptford has been involved with the trial. Ian Wills, the authorised examiner designated manager (AEDM) for the site said,

As the busiest MOT Station in the UK, we need equipment that is reliable and efficient. We’ve been working closely with Boston Garage Equipment to trial brake testers and emissions testers in our three test centres.

Using this equipment gives us more accurate results, direct onto the MTS System making it quicker for our testers and customers alike; both critical factors in our business success.

We are always seeking ways to reduce workloads on our testers and with the equipment now being connected, it removes any ambiguity, ensuring safer vehicles for our customers.

Also, at The Test Centre Training School, we strive to be market leaders and always demonstrate best practice. Connected equipment is the beginning of the future for the motor industry and it’s great to see DVSA understanding the needs, to make life easy in the 21st century.

The Garage Equipment Association (GEA) is on board

The GEA is fully engaged with us and now has 16 connected roller brake testers from 2 manufactures on the approved equipment list. Lots more will be following soon, so garages will be able to benefit from a wide range of connected equipment just as they have done so far with non-connected items.

Lots of equipment already in use in garages today can be connected. So it may simply be that the software in the equipment needs updating, with no need to replace the whole device.

The GEA will list software versions that meet connected standard and equipment manufactures and installers will be able to provide a simple upgrade.

Making the changes

We don’t expect every garage to rush out and start purchasing connected equipment. So, we’re adopting a phased introduction.

From 1 October this year any new applications to operate a test station must install a connected roller brake tester. Also from this date, any replacement roller brake testers installed in already approved sites will need to be connected.

We’ll introduce more equipment types as they become approved by the GEA, using the same approach to the brake tester mentioned above.

As always if you have any relevant comments or questions please get in touch with us.


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  1. Comment by richard posted on

    I did submit something for moderation but it never got posted. I'm assuming MOT fees will rise to accommodate all of this new equipment. Also what is happening with the trailer socket tester, it was being looked at as it doesn't appear to work on some vehicles that have led lights fitted or can bus.

    • Replies to richard>

      Comment by Rob Webb (DVSA) posted on

      Testing the 13 pin trailer socket is still part of the test and should be carried out on all 13 pin socket, further details on this can be found in Special Notice 01-2019

  2. Comment by castrolrob posted on

    the equipment mentioned in the information we have been given is brake rollers October on,headlamp testers,emissions analysers with a nod towards eobd and anpr.phased in or not its going to be expensive and your reply doesn't answer my original question of when is it planned for it to become required be effective it will HAVE to become a requirement at some stage and we need a has also rendered the average small independent test station difficult to sell as a change of ae is going to require connected rollers as the minimum so expect to see a few of those going.a reply to the vsi question I originally posted would also be appreciated,it is particularly relevant for brake tests(connected equipment yes?) as a high percentage of difficulties revolve around electric handbrakes/automated footbrakes/differing transmission systems affecting all the above.i for instance tested a Porsche macan at the start of the week,4x4,leccy handbrake not suitable for decelerometer,no vsi.i took my best guess and got away with it but for a modern computerised system(particularly one dropped on us via an eu requirement that also included that we be provided with the relevant tech info to correctly test these systems)well at best it doesn't look very professional now does it?

    • Replies to castrolrob>

      Comment by Rob Webb (DVSA) posted on

      As we explained earlier in the blog post, we only have a date for introducing connected roller brake testers. We are still working with equipment manufacturers and the GEA to establish suitable start dates for other items of test equipment We will keep you informed via Special Notices and email alerts. A change of AE where there is no continuity with the outgoing AE will result in the VTS having to ensure the equipment is connectable. For clarity this is for a completely different AE taking over an existing site, if a site is being passed to a family member who is already part of the business then this would mean there is continuity and the site would not have to upgrade their equipment.