Bison Futé: name, origins, functioning… All the questions you have about the cork fortune teller

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Every year he accompanies millions of French people on the roads, but do you really know him? Born in the 70s, Bison Futé has become the reference mascot for all motorists.

When the bags are strapped and the trunk closed, the French are used to addressing him when they go on holiday. Bison Futé is an official and former organization recognizable by the emblem that gave it its name. This little American Indian has become the indispensable holiday mascot. It is he who guides the people of August and July on summer roads, preventing traffic jams and suggesting alternative routes. Here’s what you need to know about your travel buddy.

Where does “Bison Futé” come from?

The traffic information policy was born with the creation of the National Traffic Information Center of the Gendarmerie (CNIRG) in 1968. Installed from the outset in Rosny-sous-Bois, this center was responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of traffic information.

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But Bison Futé was actually born in July 1976, a year later. the historic traffic jam to Spain appeared in the summer of 1975. The traffic jam was such that we counted 60,000 stationary vehicles and 600 km of static roads. The case aroused controversy, and the directorate of roads and traffic was forced to react. A traffic regulation and information plan for motorists was therefore prepared to facilitate their journey.

Why “Smart Bison”?

The goal was to incorporate traffic information. It was therefore necessary find a mascot that speaks to as many people as possible and which represents the message that the Ministry of Transport wants to convey. At the moment, different ideas are evoked such as the dolphin, the giraffe or the bird, but in the end it is the American Indian that is kept. He embodies perfectly the locator, the one who looks for the best routes. It represents the intelligent, the astute, the enterprising, the one who has flair and knows how to get out of complicated situations.

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How does Bison Smart work?

To be so intelligent, this bison uses complex statistics. First, it is based on a “seasonality coefficient”. This is created from the traffic history of the last 10 years and data collected in the field by the Regional Road Information and Coordination Centers (CRICR), the National Gendarmerie and 4,000 sensors scattered throughout France. Thanks to this data, the “seasonality coefficient” allows Bison Futé to predict the trend of the roads for the next 12 months.

At the same time, Bison Futé also studies the evolution of society and the habits of motorists. Finally, it should be added that the organization also takes into account exceptional events that may occur on the road, to create the most accurate forecasts possible.

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