Deer in Infrared Lights: New Detection Systems Prevent Collisions

Every year there are more than 1.1 million deer-auto collisions. These accidents have caused over 25,000 injuries and resulted in $3.5 billion in damages. In some cases, the collisions have resulted in fatalities. While “deer crossing” signs may put drivers on notice in a heavily populated area, drivers may not be able to stop in time to prevent a collision. New technologies are being advanced to help vehicles detect animals ahead and help drivers stop before a collision.


Any accident can be a personal and financial hardship. Our Boston car accident attorneys understand the stress and costs of a vehicle collision. We are dedicated to helping victims of accidents recover compensation for these losses. Our firm is also committed to staying abreast of safety technologies and raising awareness to prevent future accidents and injuries.

Autoliv Electronics Night Vision is a subsidiary of a large automotive safety company that has manufactured seat belts and airbags and researched safety features since 1953. Many of these designs have been installed in newer vehicle models and the company continues to invest in research that will keep drivers and passenger safe in the event of a collision. The company is now designing and manufacturing infrared systems that help drivers prevent collisions with pedestrians and animals.

A pedestrian recognition feature was added in 2008; but a new generation of the model is able to identify deer and other animals that may wander out in the path of a vehicle. Again, this new technology is aimed at “active” safety with the goal of preventing accidents rather than “passive” safety, which aims to keep passengers safe and survive an accident. According to reports the system has only been fitted to luxury vehicles but may appear in the next few months in other models.

The researchers have collected important data to develop computer systems that will analyze a 24-degree area in a fraction of a second in order to spot humans or other animals. The infrared technology is so advanced that it is also able to target a specific sized animal. The scanners display the results in the dashboard and high-lights where the heat-emitting animals are located, up to 160-yards.

The technology gives a driver 2 to 4 seconds of additional reaction time to avoid the collision. Product reviews indicate that the sensors are almost military grade and are fast and efficient in a production line. Already, the company produces 300,000 units per year.

On a vehicle, the cameras are placed discretely, some of them in the grill, others in the logo rings. The system is expensive and has only been picked up by luxury manufacturers, but projections indicate that the technology should show up on mid-level vehicles by the year 2016.

In addition to preventing collisions with deer, the technology can also help to avoid pedestrians and bikers at a distance. Researchers suggest that drivers do not keep their eyes on the screen but should use it like a rear view mirror and glance at it occasionally, especially when in heavily wooded or dark areas.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in the Boston area, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.

More Blog Entries:

New Vehicle Safety Features Stop Accidents Before They Happen, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 6, 2013
NHTSA to Rate 2012 Vehicles and Their Ability to Protect Occupants, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 4, 2011

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