23 Mar 2017 - EAG Workshop, Sofia (Bulgaria)

How far is a driving test from a normal driving and how can the practical test be developed into a more "natural" driving experience?


IMPORTANT NOTE: The 2017 EAG workshop will take place on 23 March 2017 in the Hotel Arena di Serdica in Sofia, Bulgaria. This event has been arranged with the help of our Effective Member, the Road Transport Administration of Bulgaria. Please note that the initial deadline to book the hotel room is 31 January 2017. We recommend that you make your initial booking in the hotel of your choice (see below), and that you proceed to cancel your booking if you cannot attend the event at a later stage (taking into consideration their cancellation policy).


After 10 years of experience with independent driving in different countries, the EAG thinks it would be interesting to exchange the current knowhow, latest developments (e.g. evaluations carried out, etc.), and last but not at least, background information on this issue so that these may be used to introduce new elements of independent driving in the practical driving test in CIECA member countries.

The EAG still thinks that independent driving in the driving test involves freedom of action on the part of the candidate, for example, trip-related planning (choosing a route based on a destination provided by the examiner), and deciding where to stop for special manoeuvres. This encourages the autonomous decision-making capacities of the candidate and is seen to have a positive influence on driver training. In other cases, independent driving has been introduced in some countries in the practical driving test by asking candidates to follow road signs or take directions from sat navs. Additionally, candidates are asked to operate a control (e.g. use demister, put on fog lights, etc...) whilst driving. More details of a recent project on this matter will be revealed during the workshop.

With all these goals in mind, the EAG would like to review the content of the report entitled “Independent driving in the category B practical driving test", that was developed as part of a CIECA mini-project by the expert group back in 2007.

The EAG realizes that independent driving is just ONE way of making the test closer to a normal driving, so the group wants to discuss further topics during the event:

  • What other elements/components could make the test more ‘natural’? For example, completion of real tasks during the test (i.e. drive to the supermarket and pick up a bottle of milk) could also be considered.
  • Are manoeuvres during the test relevant anymore?
  • How to handle distraction and mental workload during the test
  • How to deal with difficult and unexpected situations (rescue vehicles, road blockages, accidents, bad weather...)

Finally, the group thinks that it would be beneficial for all members to learn about research and experience regarding the maximum mental workload that can be asked from the candidate because to a great extent he has to ‘multi-task’: finding his way is an additional skill which must be performed in addition to the core driving skills of positioning, speed and so on. If the candidate’s core driving skills are not sufficiently automatic, this weakness will be exposed as a mental overload when the additional skill of orientation in traffic is added on top. The candidate must decide on the timing of his actions independently and without external support.

These topics will be discussed in small groups and finally presented to all participants during the EAG annual workshop. The outcome of the workshop will be presented later on during the CIECA congress.


Agenda: (will be published soon)
IMPORTANT: The workshop will start at around 9 am on 23 March 2017, and will finish at approximately 4.30 pm. Please note that final times will be confirmed shortly.
Information for participants

Fee: This members’ only event is free-of-charge
Location: The workshop will take place at the Hotel Arena di Serdica in Sofia, Bulgaria. Here you will find more information about the meeting venue.
Accommodation: In order to book your rooms, please download the appropriate form (depending on the hotel of your choice), and follow the instructions. Please note that on this occasion we have blocked rooms in two different hotels:

Please note that the initial deadline for hotel bookings in both hotels is 31 January 2017. All reservations made after this date will be subject to availability. Rates in both hotels:

  • Single room: 100.67€ breakfast included
  • Double room: 121.34€ breakfast included

Cancellation policy: Cancellation must be made in writing. Any cancellation of reservation made seven days or less prior arrival will result in the charge of the first night accommodation fee.
Dinner on 22 March: We are organizing a dinner for all participants on 22 March 2017 at 8 pm in the Hotel Arena di Serdica. If you would like to participate in the dinner, please indicate so while registering for the event.  Please note that each participant should pay for his/her own dinner. More information about the dinner will be sent at a later stage.
Working language: English