Innovation That Matters

Roadside system uses lights and sound to keep deer safe from traffic

Sport & Fitness

The DeerDeter system uses strobe lights and sound to keep deer off the road while vehicles pass.

Wildlife collisions pose a serious threat to vehicles on the roads – not to mention the drivers and passengers inside them – but new technology from Austrian IPTE Schalk and Schalk OG aims to reduce that risk dramatically. Specifically, IPTE’s newly revamped DeerDeter system uses strobe lights and sound to keep deer off the road while vehicles pass. The result of extensive long-term testing in Austria and the United States, DeerDeter is a solar-powered roadside system by which an audible alarm and flashing lights are triggered when an oncoming vehicle approaches, starting from a distance of 200m; the vehicle’s headlights set the system off. The combination of those warning signals – which mimic the cry of a wounded animal and the reflected glare of a predator, according to Wired – make deer pause as the vehicle passes, minimizing the likelihood of any collision. The DeerDeter system can also be configured to incorporate a MESH communications system, allowing a link to a central location via a gateway through the cell-phone network. By virtue of that connection, units at the far end of the deployed system can detect approaching vehicles and activate units further down the roadway even before they sense the oncoming headlights themselves. Either way, once the vehicle is gone, deer and other wildlife are free to cross the road as they would have otherwise. Some 10,000 weatherproof DeerDeter units have been deployed and tested in the US and Europe over the past five years, demonstrating a decrease in animal-vehicle collisions of 70-90 percent, or even 100 percent in some cases, IPTE says. Transportation entrepreneurs: one to incorporate on the highways and byways in your area? Spotted by: Tracy Chong



Download PDF