The damage prevention system
The innovative character of the project lies in the development and testing of a road kill prevention system, which so far has neither been used nor experimented anywhere.
The system is composed of 1) a central control unit, 2) four radar doppler sensors (two to register the speed of vehicles on both the sides of the road and two to record the presence of animals approaching the road), 3) two road signs that alert the car drivers and 4) an acoustic and optical scaring system.
The system works in the following way: the radar doppler sensor (1) registers the presence of an approaching animal and sends the information to the electronic control unit (2). The control unit activates an alert signal for drivers (3), inviting them to slow down to an acceptable speed. Another sensor (4) measures whether the car actually slows down to the desired speed. If it does, the system stops to act. Otherwise the radar sends a signal back to the control unit (2), which activates the optical and/or acoustic scaring system (5), which shall drive the animal to escape.
The system consists of sensors linked to a software platform that allows a full remote control and monitoring, that in turn allows a quick intervention in case of failure.
The Doppler radar sensors feature a range capacity of 200 mt and can identify the exact speed between 0 and 299 Km/h.
The acoustic dissuasion system has a digital control unit with over 500 different kind of sounds. Its operation provides for diversified pauses, never the same, and integrates a method of audio volume variation that avoids the animals habit-forming.
In particular environment contexts, in order to ensure that the disposition of the sensors guarantees the survey of the animals transit, segments of welded net could be installed so as to guide the transit of the wild animals toward the sensors area.
This system comes along with the installation on the road of specific placards that point out the presence of the system itself.
These placards are especially designed with captivating texts and images so as to draw the attention of the drivers.
In this way the drivers travelling that specific road segment are adequately alerted and should be more careful to the danger signs.
Main system advantages:
- the animal is deterred from crossing the road only when there is a real risk of impact with the vehicle; so the system doesn’t interfere with his usual wandering and the possible process of habit-forming to the dissuasion system is avoided.
- the same applies to the drivers: the system of light alerting goes in action only when the animals are actually close to the road
- compared to other dissuasion systems, which are extremely sensitive to the angle differences with respect to the road and to ground declivity, this system is stronger and requires a less frequent intervention
- the IT platform of the system allows the remote control of its operation and doesn’t requie big efforts in term of inspections on the ground, once the system is fully operational
- all the system components are compliant with the EC regulations and with the traffic laws. Hence the system could be adopted by all the other authorities on national scale, without any problem from the point of view of the authorizations and procedure.
The main strength of this system is that it acts simultaneously toward both wildlife and drivers.