Auto Plus has tracked down the very first carpooling radar on the Paris ring road. We tell you everything!
Without fanfare, “carpooling qualification systems” are multiplying around large urban areas. While we already know the versions put into service in Grenoble and Lyon, Auto Plus tracked down the very first carpool radar from the Paris ring road. Better: we were present during its installation!
Attending a birth is always a rare and solemn moment. Especially when the offspring is the first of a line that promises to be fruitful. That evening, it was on the central reservation of the Paris ring road that “the happy event” took place. We were certainly not invited, but whatever, we weren’t going to miss the opportunity to take some pictures for the family album.
Especially since we have been following him for a while, this future prodigy of the left lane: in June 2020, Auto Plus revealed the existence of a call for tenders from the town hall of Paris for a “Multi-beneficiary contract for the realization of a test device for qualifying carpooling on the Paris ring road”. A key step in the transformation project of the busiest urban motorway in Europe (up to 250,000 vehicles per day!) Bitterly defended by the mayor of the capital, Anne Hidalgo. His wishes: a speed reduced to 50 km / h, a cycle path, and, therefore, the “reservation of a path for virtuous mobility”. Clearly, carpooling, but also vehicles with very low emissions, public transport, and taxis. Objective: inaugurate this vast transformation plan for the 2024 Olympic Games. Then perpetuate it thereafter.
Two devices tested
It cannot be invented: nine months later (the call for tenders having been launched in May 2020), the time has come for the birth announcement. On the night of January 19 to 20, 2021, Faraco, one of the two companies awarded the contract (to which we already owe the formidable “mobile mobile” radars), took advantage of the closure of the Paris ring road to set up its Voitsapp system at the level of the ecotax gantry at Porte de Montreuil. While waiting for the imminent arrival of the competing device – Cyclope.ai’s Roadshare, at the beginning of February at the same place -, here is the barda in question: two cameras focused on the left lane of the inner ring road, literally responsible for counting the number of occupants onboard all vehicles using this lane.
A complex mission, which consists of locating the people seated in the front and back, in all weather, day and night, and at any speed, all with a success rate set at 98%. In addition, the device must identify the presence of mannequins, read license plates, take pictures, detect motorized two-wheelers without passengers, recognize taxis and priority vehicles … All tasks including execution is entrusted to algorithms, artificial intelligence and deep learning (deep learning, which allows a system to learn on its own). When the process has proved its worth, the Paris town hall will then be free to deploy – before the Olympics, if it wishes – this reserved lane, all along the 35 km of the ring road. And she’s not the only one thinking about it: Lyon and Grenoble have already inaugurated theirs, respectively on the M6-M7 (ex-A6-A7) and on the A48, with, in both cases, the installation of a radar developed by Pryntec. In addition, all metropolises that have set up or are going to set up a low emission zone (ZFE) in 2021 are authorized to do so. And that makes a lot of people: from Marseille to Toulouse via Lille, Montpellier, Nice or Rouen … Not to mention all the agglomerations of more than 150,000 inhabitants, which will have to impose traffic restrictions by 2025! In short, carpooling speed camera tests will multiply, without any automatic verbalization being initially considered: like Lyon, which has just passed from the educational phase to the repressive phase, the PV is currently drawn upon arrest. But that could change.
Automated checks are already possible
If the equipment is still being tested, the texts have already been modified to allow automatic verbalization of the undue occupation of a reserved lane. Article 39 of the mobility orientation law of 24 December 2019 has indeed added to the highway code an unequivocal article: “When the use of a traffic lane has been reserved […] public transport vehicles, taxis, vehicles carrying a minimum number of occupants, particularly in the context of carpooling […], or vehicles with very low emissions […], fixed or mobile devices for the automated control of vehicle identification data can be implemented by the national police and gendarmerie services, by the municipal police services of the municipality (s) on whose territory this route has been established. “These same devices will also be able to access the “file of vehicles for which an identification based on their contribution to the limitation of atmospheric pollution has been issued”. Clearly, the database of Crit’Air thumbnails. Until the carpooling radars also sanction, in the long term, vehicles banned from circulation in EPZs …
SCOOP AUTO PLUS – They arrive on the Parisian periphery. We were there!
We knew the location of the future carpooling radar (it was mentioned in the call for tenders of the Paris city hall): at the level of the ecotax portico of the Porte de Montreuil. It remained to discover the date of its establishment. Knowing that the latter could not take place in the middle of traffic, it was enough to watch the schedule of closures of the circular boulevard. Bingo! The night of January 19 to 20 was the right one: around 10:30 p.m., the Fareco teams started installing their system. And, surprise, while the specifications stipulated that “the equipment should not be below 5.60 m and above 7.00 m above the ground”, the radar is finally posted at flush with daisies. Logic: to count the number of occupants on board vehicles, it is imperative to position the cameras at the same level as the glazed surfaces, especially the side, and not above!
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