How can motorways be developed and respond to new societal challenges? The free-flow motorway is a real response to the need for fluidity on a high-traffic axis, and for modernization towards sustainable mobility. Successfully deployed in many countries, this transformation of the motorway will allow drivers to travel at the authorized speed, without slowing down or stopping, to pay the toll.

Listen to the voices of Sanef: free flow (FR)

The highway is, for many of us, linked to the pleasures of going on vacation. However, it is one of those memories of departure that is not necessarily linked to pleasure: that of traffic jams. The toll appears as a misplaced comma, a bit archaic on this holiday route. Especially today when the dematerialization of payment has passed into customs and practices.
So how can the motorway evolve to adapt to these new uses? To find out, meet Josélito Bellet, change management manager for the Flux Libre project at Sanef.

Free-flow motorway, how does it work?

Free-flow technology allows the customer to use the entire motorway axis without a physical toll barrier, thanks to sensors allowing the detection and identification of vehicles, without reducing their speed.

How does it actually work?

  • Metal frames or "gantries" spanning the roadway are installed along the axis. Customers can thus pay their toll without needing to stop there.
  • These gantries equipped with intelligent sensors detect each vehicle and identify its category (car, truck, etc.) using devices that calculate its volume, profile and number of axles. These sensors are interconnected and cover all lanes of the motorway regardless of traffic conditions (nominal, lane change, congestion, etc.).
  • Antennas make it possible to detect the electronic toll badge of Bip&go subscriber customers at 130 km/h (for light vehicles) or 90 km/h (for heavy goods vehicles).


How to pay the free-flow toll?

Automatic payment

  • Do you have a electronic toll badge ? No changes thanks to the badge valid on all motorways!
  • Don't have a badge? In your Sanef customer space, you can activate automatic payment at each visit. In just a few clicks, register your vehicle's license plate and your method of payment, before the trip.

Payment after the journey(s)

  • You can pay online, or at Sanef/Sapn partners, within 72 hours after your visit, by mentioning your plate of registration.

What are the benefits for customers?

The free flow is a big step forward to improve the journey of our customers:

  • + fluid and + fast: no need to stop to adjust your passage. A real time saver in periods of heavy traffic, especially during long weekends or major holiday departures.
  • + simple: a single payment for the entire journey and no longer at each toll station.
  • + security: less stress when approaching and leaving the toll barrier, no need to find the right line when approaching the toll and choose your payment method.
  • + responsible: less fuel consumed during journeys, less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

An ambitious project, supported by all Group employees

The transformation of the motorway into free flow is a global and cross-functional project involving the entire Sanef/Sapn collective. It is an ambitious project, which the group carries with pride and commitment to respond even better to its public service mission.

  • New, more diversified professions (manual verification of license plates, information on the device, customer assistance for payment, collection, etc.)
  • The continuity of the digital transformation of our Group
  • Better working conditions: end of night work for a better balance between professional and personal life, end of outdoor work for better safety...
  • To develop in these new professions with confidence, employees will benefit from training and personalized support in order to be operational on the day of commissioning.

Free-flow motorway on our network

Since 2014, the Sanef group has been involved in a program to modernize tolls. Sanef's "free flow toll" solution saw the light of day for the first time in France at the Boulay toll on the A4 motorway.

In 2024, the 210 km of the Paris Normandy motorway will adopt free flow technology.

Learn more