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Deer Caught in the Headlights? Your Car May Soon See Them


Literally, a deer in the headlights.

Automakers are working on systems that will keep self-driving cars from hitting large animals, like deer.

Credit: vickistiefel.com

Automakers are working to develop systems that would enable self-driving cars to avoid hitting large animals such as deer.

For example, Volvo started equipping several 2017 models with software that enables its forward-looking radar and cameras to identify large deer entering or crossing a roadway.

Toyota is working on its own deer-sensing technology, focusing on identifying how many deer are in the road and whether they are running or walking.

Researchers at Toyota's Collaborative Safety Research Center conducted a study with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University that involved equipping 48 vehicles with forward-looking cameras, while another vehicle had a camera and radar. The vehicles were driven more than 350,000 miles and the cameras recorded 596 real-life encounters with deer on rural roads. The researchers collected more than 53,000 radar readings of deer and used them to program radar sensors to recognize deer in a fraction of a second.

From The New York Times
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