PMore than eight out of ten drivers travel alone in their car in the morning. According to a study by the Vinci motorway manager, out of 1.5 million vehicles analyzed in the fall of 2021 near large cities, 82.6% carried only one person in the front between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. week.
“Autosolism” peaks at 8 a.m., the peak time for commuting, with 89% of people alone. It then decreases to drop below 75% around 10 a.m. Rates vary by city: there are more single drivers on the A11 north of Nantes, on the A10 in Tours or on the A62 in Toulouse, than on the A83 south of Nantes or on the A8 between Nice and Aix-en-Provence. The fight against solo driving, particularly through carpooling, is one of the government’s main ways to limit traffic and therefore air pollution. Motorways represent 1% of the French road network, but 30% of the distances traveled and 25% of CO emissions2 transports.
Auto – The plug-in hybrid in question
Reserve lanes for carpoolers
In 2019, the government set itself the goal of tripling the share of home-to-work carpooling in five years, to reach three million carpoolers. Either run one million fewer cars per day on French roads. The law allows since 2019 to reserve lanes for carpooling, as it has existed for many years in North America or elsewhere. Several lanes reserved for VR2+ (vehicles carrying at least two occupants, public transport, taxis, very low-emission vehicles) have been put into service in Strasbourg, Grenoble, Lyon, Bordeaux or in the Paris region.
The multiplication of these reserved lanes involves controlling the number of occupants. Several devices have been tested, such as in Rouen or at the Franco-Swiss customs in Thônex-Vallard. Some counting devices appear reliable enough to display educational messages, but not enough to allow automated sanctions. The approval of an automated control solution is not expected before the end of 2023. But computer-assisted video reporting solutions could be implemented before this date.