Volvo is developing onboard car braking systems that can detect animals nearby to alert drivers and even stop vehicles before impact. Known as Auto Brake technology, it is based on their Pedestrian Detection system, which was developed to decrease vehicle collisions with people.
“The goal is for the system to function at the normal rural highway speeds. In cases in which it cannot help the driver entirely avoid the collision, the system will slow down the car sufficiently to help reduce the force of impact and thus of serious injuries,” said a technical safety expert from Volvo. (Source: CNET.com) The animal detection system is being designed to work in the dark
From 2008 to 2010, there were 2.3 million collisions with deer in the United States. Many of these accidents hurt both the deer and people. They also cause much damage to vehicles and some of the repairs are not covered by insurance. States like West Virginia, Michigan, Iowa and Montana are where the most deer are hit. (Most deer-related accidents happen in November.) Of course, it isn’t only deer that are hit, bears, squirrels, pets, elk, moose–just about anything that moves is eligible. In 2010 28 bears were hit by vehicles in Yosemite National Park alone.
No technology is perfect, but anything that helps people become more aware of animals when they are driving so that accidents are reduced would be very welcome.
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