Second Edition of the VEDECOM & MACIF Autonomous Vehicle Barometer

Three out of four French people are in favor of the autonomous vehicle, which could play a decisive role in rural areas

The second edition of the VEDECOM & MACIF barometer on the acceptability of the autonomous vehicle by the French reveals that 73% of them have a positive attitude towards this means of transportation: an increase of 3 percentage points compared to 2020 (equivalent to about 2 million of the French population).

In 2020, the French had a positive perception of the automated vehicle, given that it’s introduced in a context of environmental preservation and improvement of inclusive mobility. With the growth of autonomous mobility experiments on the French territory, has the perception of the French changed in 2021? Do they see themselves using it regularly, everywhere and for everyone? What do they expect from it?

“Mobility for all, autonomy for all: this is the ambition of our community of interest on shared autonomous vehicles for the past 3 years. The autonomous vehicle must first meet a societal need before being a technology used by individual drivers. It’s in this way that the shared autonomous shuttle will help to revitalize isolated areas by providing access to employment, health care or by making mobility accessible to all.” Yann Arnaud, Director of Responses to Member’s Needs and Innovation at Macif and Leader of the Autonomous Vehicle Community of Interest.


More than 50% of French people are ready to try it

18% of respondents have already seen an automated vehicle, 6% more than in 2020. More and more people want to test it, and 5% have had the opportunity to use one this year (2 points more than in 2020).

More than half of the French people (53.50%) say they intend to try autonomous mobility in the coming years (+11 pts). More than 6 out of 10 say so when they have already seen an automated vehicle (+15 pts) and more than 7 out of 10 when they have already used one (+10 pts). In general, nearly 4 out of 10 French people (39%) plan to regularly use an autonomous vehicle (+6 pts).

Iifography 1

The autonomous shuttle: a way to revitalize remote areas

The autonomous vehicle is highly anticipated in rural areas to provide for day-to-day services (e.g., on-demand services for isolated seniors or last-mile deliveries to industrial zones). It will finally make mobility accessible to all. A new way to get around? Yes for 67% of French people who believe that the shared autonomous vehicle will allow people living in rural areas to no longer be dependent on the private car. Nearly 3/4 of them think that shared autonomous shuttles would be useful in rural areas to go to appointments or to do shopping and 2/3 to go to the nearest town, the nearest train station or to work.

Automated mobility would respond to a concern that the French have for the most vulnerable populations. It would be useful in rural areas for the elderly (for 81% of respondents), then for those who do not have a driver’s license (78%), who do not have a car (74%), or for people with reduced mobility (64%). One French out of two would also be in favor of transporting children and teenagers in rural areas by autonomous shuttles.

Reaching out to those who will need it most

Although still low, the visibility of the autonomous vehicle is increasing throughout the country, including among rural residents. 12% of rural residents have already seen an automated vehicle, a figure that is up 4 points from 2020, but only 2% have used one (+ 1 point) compared to 7% of urban residents (+ 2 points).

The visibility of the automated vehicle is higher and growing more quickly among young people, city dwellers and executives: 24% of the 18-24 years old have seen an automated vehicle (+6 points), 23% of city dwellers (+7 points) and 22% of executives (+4 points). More than 8% of the latter have already tried an automated vehicle (+3 points). There is therefore an educational balance to be found between urban and rural populations, but also between young and old.

As for the unemployed, only 3.5% have tried an automated vehicle. This is a progression, though, since none had tried one last year.


Infography 2

The autonomous vehicle, associated with green energies

Autonomous vehicle is perceived as more ecological than non-autonomous vehicles by nearly 63% of respondents (+ 3 pts); 77% (+ 7 pts) of them even think that compliance with ecological standards will be mandatory. 62% of the French perceive the ecological side of the shared autonomous shuttle more than for individual automated vehicles, for which they have a reservation.


6 out of 10 French people say they are safer in an autonomous vehicle

Trust and safety is the second element that encourages the French to use an autonomous vehicle. Moreover, the same as last year, nearly 6 out of 10 French people (57.80%) say they feel safe in an automated vehicle and more than 5 out of 10 (54%; +2 pts) think that this vehicle is reliable.

The respondents consider using an autonomous vehicle as soon as they have seen or tested it at least once. To try it is to adopt it!

More confidence among the youngest respondents for level 3 – More than half of the French say they trust automated vehicles (+3 points). There is a 14 points increase in the 18-24 age group, with 41% trusting at least limited automated driving (i.e., level 3).


Autonomous mobility, symbol of freedom

 When asked this year about the main elements that would encourage them to use an autonomous vehicle in general, the French mention the first, the possibilities of well-being and freedom that it brings (41% of responses). Autonomy is associated with comfort and serenity, via the on-board activities it makes possible (talking on the phone, sleeping…). Autonomous mobility everywhere and for everyone is also very appealing to the French, who are already planning to use it in concrete ways (e.g., improving mobility for the elderly and connections between cities).

However, when the French have the choice between different types of automated vehicles, they prefer the one that allows them to be able to regain control (level 3) in order, for 55% of them, to keep the mastery and maintain complete command of the car.


Trying would be adopting it

The results of this second edition clearly show that the introduction of automated vehicles, as well as the more advanced experiments, have an impact: they maintain the positive perception of the French and their a priori confidence, as well as reinforce their feeling of safety. Awareness and perception indicators confirm that the French need to know more about this new kind of mobility.

INfography 3

For Eric Lebeau, Managing Director of the VEDECOM Institute, “this second survey clearly shows the direct and positive link between experimentation and acceptability of the autonomous vehicle: it is now time to move on to deployment and to observation during real-life operational service pilots. The popularity rating of autonomous vehicle is slowly but surely improving, with a strong expectation for shared and electric services such as shuttles, which are perceived as more environmentally friendly and inclusive than the individual vehicle.”

The major expectation is in rural areas where autonomous mobility makes sense. Autonomous shuttles will be relevant in these areas to improve the existing network and therefore the mobility of residents who do not have access to a personal vehicle, to provide new services, and to encourage car owners to use shared formulas.

“We still need to structure a sector that can respond to the needs of the local authorities, both in terms of opportunity studies, vehicles supply, services and appropriate infrastructure,” concludes Eric Lebeau.


Methodology of the VEDECOM & MACIF Acceptability Barometer

The Automated Vehicle (AV) Acceptability Barometer was conducted with a representative panel of the French population (gender, age, geographic distribution) consisting of 4,061 people. The questionnaire was administered from October 18 to 28, 2021. The questions asked made it possible to collect data on :

  • the relationship with the autonomous vehicle and in particular the main brakes and levers for using an automated vehicle
  • the preferred type of autonomous vehicle to be chosen among 4: Personal Vehicle (PV) level 3 (limited autonomous driving), PV level 4 (almost complete autonomy), Robot cab level 5 (complete autonomy), Bus / autonomous shuttle level 5
  • evaluation of the acceptability of the 4 vehicles including in particular the perception of the AV in terms of safety, trust, protection of personal data and attitudes (i.e. judgments on the desirability of an object or a behavior and/or its consequences, a positive attitude towards the AV amounts to judging it desirable whereas a negative attitude amounts to judging it undesirable) and the reasons for these choices
  • themes related to current issues: ecology, mobility in rural areas, energy, deliveries
  • the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents and their degree of technophilia (i.e., a technophile is a person who appreciates and/or encourages new technologies).

The barometer was built on the basis of the previous edition, new scientific studies and a series of interviews conducted with French people.


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“Machine Learning for the distributed and dynamic management of a fleet of autonomous taxis and shuttles”

Thesis defence of Tatiana BABICHEVA

« Machine Learning for the distributed and dynamic management of a fleet of autonomous taxis and shuttles »

10 mars 2021 – 9h30

Online : Zoom


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Jury :

  • Mme Leïla KLOUL, MCF (HDR), Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, FRANCE – Directeur de these
  • M. Dominique BARTH, Professeur, Université de Versailles SainDt-Quentin-en-Yvelines, FRANCE – Co-encadrant de these
  • M. Alain QUILLIOT, Professeur des Universités, Université Clemont-Ferrand II, FRANCE – Rapporteur
  • M. Akka ZEMMARI, Maître de conférences (HDR), Université de Bordeaux, FRANCE – Rapporteur
  • M. Wilco BURGHOUT, Directeur de recherche, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SUÈDE – Co-encadrant de these
  • M. Jakob PUCHINGER , Professor, CentraleSupélec, FRANCE – Examinateur
  • M. René MANDIAU, Professeur des universités, Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France , FRANCE – Examinateur
  • M. S. M. Hassan Mahdavi, PhD, Vedecom, Mobilab – Invité


In this thesis are investigated methods to manage shared electric autonomous taxi urban systems under an online context in which customer demands occur over time, and where vehicles are available for ride-sharing and require electric recharging management.

We propose heuristics based on problem decomposition which include road network repartition and highlighting of subproblems such as charging management, empty vehicle redistribution and dynamic ride-sharing.

The set of new methods for empty vehicle redistribution is proposed, such as proactive, meaning to take into account both current demand and anticipated future demand, in contrast to reactive methods, which act based on current demand only.

We provide reinforcement learning in different levels depending on granularity of the system.

We propose station-based RL model for small networks and zone-based RL model, where the agents are zones of the city obtained by partitioning, for huge ones. The complete information optimisation is provided in order to analyse the system performance a-posteriori in offline context.

The evaluation of the performance of proposed methods is provided in a set of road networks of different nature and size.

The proposed method provides promising results outperforming the other tested methods and the real data on the taxi system performance in terms of number of satisfied passengers under fixed fleet size.

Autonomous vehicle: first follow-up demonstration in an interoperable military convoy

On January 28 janvier, 2021, VEDECOM brought together, on behalf of the Battle Lab Terre, several French industry leaders in Defense.


The aim: to implement an autonomous convoy of vehicles using a ‘multi-Follow Me’ mode behind a leading vehicle. The long-term perspective is to deploy interoperable autonomous convoys in theaters of operations while integrating the constraints of the Defense industry.


Project partners: NEXTER Robotics, ARQUUS and CNIM.

An unprecedented partnership launched just after the Land Battle inauguration

VEDECOM was commissioned as a trusted third party and expert R&D French Institute on the subject of autonomous and electric vehicles. As a matter of fact, this Institute for Energy Transition is located in Versailles, in the Satory district, very clos from the army and its suppliers Nexter and Arquus.

Its platforms and research teams are dedicated to vehicule electrification, automated and connected vehicles, new mobility solutions. Located at the heart of the “cluster of innovative mobility” supported by the Yvelines couty, not far from Paris, VEDECOM runs a large ecosystem, integrating Nexter and Arquus. A consortium between the VEDECOM research institute,

VEDECOM Tech (business subsidiary)and the industrialists NEXTER Robotics, ARQUUS and CNIM has been set up. This joint project, entitled MC² for “Micro-convoy in contact”, was coordinated by VEDECOM Tech team.

VEDECOM Tech (business subsidiary) and the industrialists NEXTER Robotics, ARQUUS and CNIM has been set up. This joint project, entitled MC² for “Micro-convoy in contact”, was coordinated by VEDECOM Tech team.

The role of VEDECOM Tech first, to coordinate all the actors to set up an interoperable convoy and second, to carry out the dynamic assessment of the convoy. The aim is to objectify the behavior of each vehicle in the convoy, to rule on the state of the art and to address key point improvements.

After the technological development, the project was materialized with a demonstration in front of representatives of the Army and the State. This was held on January 28, 2021 on the test tracks of Versailles-Satory.


Various vehicles and robots united by “Follow-me” technology

The convoy used four types of vehicles:

  • a Sherpa Light, the leading vehicle, provided by Arquus,
  • following was the Robot-LAB, on a PVP basis, provided by Arquus
  • then the Optio robot-mule, provided by Nexter Robotics
  • then a Themis 4.5 robot-Mule, provided by CNIM

The three following vehicles were equipped with technological bricks called “Follow Me”, allowing each robot to follow the vehicle in front of it, the “target vehicle”. In the case of a “multi-follow Me” convoy, each robot virtually harnesses itself and autonomously adapts its trajectory and speed in order to form the convoy. Thus, each vehicle builds its own trajectory.

A distinction must be made between “Follow me” technology and traditional ‘platooning’, a term used for autonomous convoys when all the vehicles replay the same trajectory (for example through a GPS track), with a speed setpoint managed globally.

Interoperable and interchangeable convoy

The MC² project aims to demonstrate interoperability in to ways: heterogeneity of vehicles and interchangeability of robots in the convoy.

Regarding the heterogeneity of vehicles, the convoy combined both an 11-tonne 4*4 tactical vehicle, capable of traveling at 110km/h, a 5.5-tonne 4*4 reconnaissance vehicle that can ride up to 20km/h and 2 multipurpose 2-ton tracked robot mules capable of traveling at 18km/h.

Two convoy configurations were implemented to demonstrate the ability of robots to couple to different vehicles.


Dynamic evaluation

VEDECOM Tech used Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technologIn to assess the convoy dynamic behavior. The vehicle movement area has been defined and equipped with geolocated fixed transmitters called “anchors”. The vehicles were fitted with embedded captors so that they could position in the frame of reference formed by the anchors. All location data was recorded in real time.

The post-processing makes it possible to characterize the dynamic behavior of the convoy:

  • speed of each vehicle
  • interdistance between vehicles
  • lateral deviation from the path of the robots


Ruling the French state of the art and increasing the forces’safety

In France, this event marks the first stage in the development of interoperable platooning convoys meeting military requirements and capable of operating in a destructured environment. The main objectives of this approach are to increase the security of forces by optimizing logistics, and to refocus human resources on operations. Expected applications are long-distance autonomous logistics convoys and autonomous last-mile multi-purpose convoys..

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VEDECOM & MACIF barometer : 1st edition Are the French people ready to accept the autonomous vehicle in their daily life?

Comment les Français envisagent-ils le véhicule autonome dans leur quotidien à l’avenir ?

Pour quels usages ?  

Quel degré de confiance lui accordent-ils ?

Pour répondre à ces questions, la MACIF a souhaité réaliser le premier baromètre d’acceptation du véhicule autonome avec VEDECOM auprès d’un panel représentatif de la population française constitué de 4 014 personnes. Les questions posées permettaient de récolter des données sur :

  • la perception spontanée du VA
  • le rapport au VA après une définition générale
  • le type de VA préféré à choisir parmi 4
  • l’évaluation de l’acceptabilité des 4 véhicules incluant notamment la perception du VA en termes de sécurité, confiance, protection des données personnelles et attitudes
  • des thèmes en lien avec les enjeux actuels
  • les caractéristiques socio-démographiques des répondants et leur degré de technophilie


« VEDECOM se félicite d’avoir été choisi par la MACIF pour construire ce premier baromètre français du véhicule autonome.
Il permet de prendre conscience d’une nouvelle réalité dans le paysage des mobilités »,

Philippe Watteau, Directeur Général de l’Institut VEDECOM


Les résultats de la 1ère édition présentés ce matin au salon AUTONOMY DIGITAL 2020, révèlent que 70% des Français expriment une attitude positive vis-à-vis de ce mode de déplacement – 1 Français sur 2 estime que le véhicule autonome est fiable – alors qu’ils sont 88% à n’en avoir jamais vu.

Le véhicule autonome jugé légitime pour le transport des marchandises et des malades
En moyenne 6 Français sur 10 jugent de manière positive l’utilisation du véhicule autonome pour les livraisons de marchandises (63 %) ou le transport de personnes malades (58 %) pendant la crise sanitaire.


Par ailleurs, l’étude montre que le véhicule autonome doit rimer avec accessibilité et écologie puisque 70 % des répondants à l’étude pensent que le véhicule autonome sera déployé seulement s’il respecte les normes écologiques.


En conclusion, plus les français connaissent le véhicule autonome, plus ils envisagent de l’utiliser régulièrement comme mode de déplacement.


Le baromètre souligne la nécessité de renforcer l’image de sécurité des véhicules autonomes par la formation et l’expérimentation, en particulier auprès des jeunes et des étudiants.

Convaincue que le véhicule autonome « partagé » pourrait être une solution pour favoriser une mobilité inclusive, notamment dans les territoires ruraux et périurbains, la MACIF a créé une communauté d’intérêt dédiée au véhicule autonome au sein du Movin’On Lab.

Aujourd’hui composée de 11 entreprises, l’objectif de ce laboratoire d’innovation ouverte est de déployer des solutions de véhicule autonome qui favorisent l’émergence d’une mobilité inclusive et durable.


« Si demain, le véhicule autonome permet de redonner de la mobilité à ceux qui en sont privés, de partager un bien, de moins peser sur l’environnement et de remettre de la vie et de l’activité dans les centres villes,
alors ce sera une réelle avancée positive pour la société. »

Yann ARNAUD, Directeur Réponses Besoins Sociétaires et Innovation du Groupe MACIF


Plus d’informations : 

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Back to school… time to learn: VEDECOM launches MobTips, the first digital mapping of new mobility in France

With the arrival of new services and uses of electric, hybrid, autonomous and shared mobility, the transport and automotive ecosystem is undergoing unprecedented changes, both social, economic and technological. A “Mobility” sector is emerging, more complex and multifaceted. There is a growing need to share and understand a common language between all mobility actors, from designer to user. To clarify the issues related to new mobility, VEDECOM, a French Institute for Energy Transition (ITE), is launching Mobtips, the first reference system dedicated to “the words of mobility”. Mobtips’s mission is to share a French common vocabulary and make the changes and new mobility concepts understandable to a large audience in a fun way.To visit VEDECOM’s Mobtips site: This initiative received financial support from the SGPI (French State investments for future programs) and the Automotive Industry Platform (PFA).

Read the press release

From pedestrian to autonomous vehicle… A public survey is on line!

L’évolution du véhicule autonome passera nécessairement par la communication, l’échange d’informations et l’amélioration de ses capacités de perception à l’environnement. Il parait ainsi essentiel que les véhicules autonomes et les piétons cohabitent et interagissent entre eux en toute sécurité.

Cependant, aujourd’hui de nombreuses questions subsistent notamment une : quel sera le comportement d’un piéton face au véhicule autonome ?

C’est dans ce cadre que les chercheurs de l’institut VEDECOM lancent un questionnaire en ligne portant sur le véhicule autonome et la communication avec les autres usagers de la route.

Ce questionnaire dure une trentaine de minutes environ, nous comptons sur vous !

Toutes vos réponses sont essentielles pour poursuivre notre travail de recherche.

Pour répondre à notre questionnaire :

Participer à l’enquête

Merci à tous pour votre participation et la diffusion de cette enquête autour de vous !