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General information
Type: Field operational test
Tested system/service: Intelligent Speed Adaptation
Countries: France 100 test users
10 partners 20 vehicles
Active from 2001 to 2006
Jacques Ehrlich
Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées
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This is the French experimentation on ISA systems.

The French Ministry of Transport launched a program of experimentation and evaluation in order to better appreciate the effects of the intelligent speed adaptation system in terms of acceptance by the drivers and effects on their driving behaviours.

The LAVIA (Limiteur s’Adaptant à la VItesse Autorisée) was tested according to three variants: advisory, voluntary limited and mandatory limited.

The experimentation was carried out on 100 drivers and 20 cars. Two prototypes were used in the piloting phase with video cameras.

Key milestones of the project

  • 2001: Start of the project
  • 2001-2003: Development of test equipments
  • 2003 and 2005: TRAVIA study in 2 phases
  • 2004: Pre-Evaluation
  • 2005: Data Analysis
  • 2006: Conclusions

Details of Field Operational Test

Start date and duration of FOT execution

Geographical Coverage

The trial zone includes the communes of Saint Quentin en Yvelines, Versailles, Velizy, Villacoublay, Le Chesnay and the main roads and expressways leading to the western gates of the Paris (Porte de Saint-Cloud, Porte de Sèvres).

The trial site also included the La Défense ring road and two roads that link to the rest of the zone.

Link with other related Field Operational Tests


The main objectives were:

  • to test the system in operation and its acceptability to users,
  • to evaluate changes in individual behaviours,
  • to measure its effectiveness in terms of individual risk and to detect and evaluate any adverse effects
  • to conduct simulation in order to evaluate overall collective safety impacts using models supplied with data collected during the trial,
  • to estimate how appropriate the technical solution is,
  • to evaluate complementarities between the trial and those conducted abroad.


Lessons learned

Main events


Summary, type of funding and budget


DRAST (Direction de la Recherche et de l’Animation Scientifique et Technique), DSCR (Direction de la Sécurité et de la Circulation Routière)


Renault, PSA

Cooperation partners and contact persons

  • Public Authorities: CETE Méditerranée (Centre d’Etudes Techniques de l’Equipement), CETE Sud-Ouest, DREIF (Direction Régionale de l’Equipement Ile de France)
  • Industry:
    • Vehicle Manufacturer: Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroën
  • Research Institutes: LCPC (Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées), INRETS (LIVIC, LPC, DERA), LAB
  • Others: SETRA (Service d'Etudes Techniques des Routes et Autoroutes), CERTU (Centre d'Etudes sur les Réseaux, les Transports, l'Urbanisme et les Constructions publiques)

Applications and equipment

Applications tested

ISA (Intelligent Speed Adaptation)

3 modes are available:

  • Advisory mode : once speed limit is exceeded, a warning is displayed on the dashboard
  • Voluntary active mode: once speed limit is exceeded, the throttle is under LAVIA control
  • Mandatory mode: same as the previous one but the system cannot be deactivated by the driver.

In the voluntary limited mode, the LAVIA can be described as a standard speed limiter with a speed limit set point coming from a navigation database instead of being set by the driver.

Once the speed limit is reached, no additional effort on the gas pedal will allow exceeding the speed set point.

To get the legal speed limit information on board, the GPS like solution was chosen for cost, availability and maintainability reasons.

LAVIA does not work outside the trial zone. Volunteer drivers are, however, asked not to travel more than 200 km from their homes.


20 vehicles

The experimentation is performed using Renault Laguna II and Peugeot 307 vehicles. Starting from vehicles equipped with a standard speed limiter, the hardware and software architecture was modified in order to perform LAVIA functionalities.


100 drivers. Time of exposure was 8 weeks of free driving.

Each mode was tested for 15 days. On day D when it is delivered to the driver the car is "programmed" to change modes automatically on day D+15 and day D+30 etc. The drivers was also reminded by letter, telephone or some other means a few days before each mode change.

Equipment carried by test users


Test equipment

Two kinds of acquisition system equip prototypes vehicles: a video digital recorder (3 cameras logging at 25 images per second) and a data acquisition system. The fleet was equipped only with the data acquisition system.


Pre-simulation / Piloting of the FOT

The piloting was done with 12 drivers. The driver was driving on a specific road with an accompanying person. Data was logged and checked at the end of the trip. Discussion with the driver was also organised at the end of the trip.

Method for the baseline

Techniques for measurement and data collection

Based on an average vehicle usage of 3 hours per day, the storage autonomy required was 8 weeks. Thanks to data compression, a flash memory of 192 Mbytes was sufficient and then, data transfer occurred only at the end of an experiment for one driver.

However, in order to reduce the risk of data loss, reports including auto diagnostic were transmitted via GSM at the end of each trip.

Collected data

Objective (logged data…): time stamp, type of trip, video time-code, actual speed, speed limit, accelerator pedal position, brake pedal state, kick-down counter, LAVIA state, windscreen wiper, vehicle’s position… were recorded at a frequency rate of 480ms.

Subjective (questionnaires, focus groups…): 2 study based on questionnaires were organised (TRAVIA). 1000 drivers interviewed (representation and behaviour in regard to speed limitations and LAVIA system).

Criteria to achieve scientific results

Conducting the trial is not an end in itself. It is only worthwhile if it provides enough information for all aspects of the system to be evaluated.

An evaluation plan has been developed by statisticians and driving psychologists. This requires the collection of data that can explain the subjects' driving behaviours.

A variety of techniques was used; some involve the use of observers who accompany the drivers for several hours on an occasional basis. Others are based on automatic data collection techniques which record the most significant data, for example speeds, type of journey, conditions (rain, day or night) and use of the brakes or accelerator.

Interviews with drivers, conducted by driving psychologists, provided further insights into the factors that affect system acceptability.

However, this data is not always sufficient. The behaviour of other drivers is also very important. To better understand this, two cars were specially equipped with a video recorder to observe the scenes in front and behind them.

In this context too, observers and interviews provided a valuable supplement to the collected data.

Recruitment goals and methods

Methods for the liaison with the drivers during the FOT execution

Methods for data analysis, evaluation, synthesis and conclusions

Sources of information