LEKO Mobile: buses equipped with bioacoustic sensors

LEKO Mobile, the first "mobile thermometer" for continuous analysis of biodiversity.

La Métropole Rouen Normandie et son opérateur de transport le Groupe Transdev, la société Birdz (leader français de l’internet des objets connectés pour l’environnement) et le Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, se sont associés pour concevoir et expérimenter une solution mobile unique en Europe offrant, une mesure automatique et continue de la biodiversité à l’échelle d’un territoire.

Affiche Leko Mobile

Thanks to this innovation, the buses also become instruments for measuring biodiversity. Equipped with bioacoustic sensors, they can characterize and quantify the species heard.


Since January 2023, seven buses on the Rouen Normandie Metropole’s Réseau Astuce have been fitted with bioacoustic sensors, which continuously count bats, birds and even grasshoppers. Their installation on moving equipment is a first in France. A fixed sensor has been installed at the Astuce network headquarters.


They analyze ultrasonic sound signatures to identify the calls of chiropterans (or bats). These almost-blind mammals move around thanks to the ultrasound echolocation they emit. Their position at the end of the food chain means that bats have few predators, making them a relevant indicator of biodiversity.


Birdz, associated with the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, uses the data generated by the sensors installed on the vehicles to produce 3 indicators for assessing the state of ecosystem health (water quality, light pollution, tree cover), as well as a summary report on ecosystem health.


Sound data are not stored, and all recordings are processed in near-real time to identify each species.


Inventory data are aggregated in the Metropole Rouen Normandie biodiversity database and in the Inventaire National du Patrimoine Naturel managed by the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.


This tool, manufactured in France at Pessac, and its data, are likely to be used by different departments within a territory: the transport department, the planning and projects department, the urban planning department, the environment department. It can also be used to objectively measure the impact of public policies on biodiversity, and thus aid decision-making.


Leko Mobile is the 2023 winner of the Propulse program run by the French Ministry of Transport’s Agence d’Innovation dans les Transport (AIT), a finalist in the Salon des Maires innovation competition, and is supported by the Banques des Territoires!

The Leko Mobile project...

  • Inventory species – bats, grasshoppers and certain birds, and now butterflies and glowworms – to provide a continuous snapshot of the ecological state of the area and its evolution;
  • Drastically increase the data available on biodiversity (estimated increase in available data: x5 for animal inventories in one year and x50 for bats in one year in Rouen);
  • Provide continuous, long-term information on the 3 indicators used to assess ecosystem health;
  • To know the evolution of a part of the biodiversity heritage, allowing us to take into account the most endangered species and the pressures on biodiversity.

Did you know ?

Bats and other bird species are the best environmental markers, and their presence is the sign of a healthy ecosystem!

This initiative is a first in France and demonstrates Transdev Normandie’s commitment to protecting the environment!

It's a premiere in France to have such a sensor installed on moving equipment.


Guillaume Aribaud, CEO Transdev Rouen