VIDEO. Tourism and environment: a car counter to avoid saturation in the Pyrenees

Air and soil pollution, landscape degradation: preserving these natural sites has become a major issue. So how can we reconcile the pleasure of traveling while reducing our environmental footprint? Answer in this new issue of Reinventing yourself in New Aquitaine.

Every year, more than 1 million visitors walk the trails of the Pyrenees. A figure that has been constantly increasing since the health crisis and the explosion of “green tourism”. Considerable attendance, often condensed over a short period which is not without impact on the environment.

At the entrance to the hiking trails at the summit of Mont Baïgura in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, this summer: saturated car parks, endless lines of cars. The tourists responded to the call of the mountain air.

Since the health crisis, we have indeed noticed an increasing number of visitors to certain mountain sites, which has prompted us to reflect on how to preserve these sites.

Denis Ulanga, director of the Béarn/Basque Country tourism departmental agency

at France 3 New Aquitaine

To lead this reflection, a call for ideas was launched: the objective, to find solutions to better regulate the frequentation of this site.

The solution we have imagined is to deploy on sites in tension, small systems which count, in real time, the number of vehicles at a specific location, in this case here in the parking lot at the start of the trails.explains Romain Roquefère, associate director of the start-up Hupi.

A start-up specializing in artificial intelligence for automotive suppliers in particular, Hupi embarked on this project to “putting technology at the service of the environment “, specifies Romain Roquefère. Before adding, “this device consists of two parts: it has a small camera that takes pictures at regular intervals, and inside is a small computer, which will extract via the image the number of vehicles it has spotted and then the photo will be deleted right away“.

It is after this first step of counting that artificial intelligence intervenes. “The next step is the prediction of the saturation level. The ultimate goal would be for the system to intelligently offer alternative sites to hikers“.

Unique and innovative, this technology should make it possible to avoid the establishment of gauges deployed via a compulsory reservation modeas was the case this summer in the Calanques of Marseille.
If the natural sites are still very popular, we may have to define a gauge. Maybe tomorrow it will have to come to that too in the Pyrenees, closing sites from a certain number of visitors but that’s what we want to avoid“, concludes Denis Ulanga.

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VIDEO. Tourism and environment: a car counter to avoid saturation in the Pyrenees


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