Animal detection system


I need help.I need to address an issue of animal collision with cars at night.affected animals cows,donkeys and plan is to have sensor which when detects any of this animals near or within 200 meters it triggers lights which I would have installed along the road. Like street lights.the plan at this stage is to do a demonstration vedio of my concept as well as prototype

Hi Maboloka248626
While I commend your thoughts that is one hell of a lot of lights even if you confined the idea to major highways.

While I am by no means an authority on the subject it seems to me that the problem is very rarely just an animal wandering around on the road. They seem to come from nowhere from a concealed position and flash straight across the road. For some reason there always seems to be something better on the other side and the faster a vehicle is travelling the better the other side of the road looks. Just have to be aware and ready. Another problem is that many roads in the country are unfenced and most “wild” (as opposed to “domestic”) animals seem to be pretty nocturnal. Eat and forage at night and sleep by day.

There are a surprising number of animals moving around at night and you would probably have your lights on at all times. This would defeat the purpose and after a time this would not not increase a motorist’s awareness as you originally intended. In other words they might be seen as just street lights.

Don’t stop. It would be good if someone could come up with a workable solution for this problem.
Cheers Bob

Hey Maboloka,
Welcome to the forums!

That sounds like an extremely useful project for road safety but like Bob I think there may have to be a broader approach to it. However, I am happy to get some information your way to get started! We have a guide that may be a good point for learning about computer vision and specifically how it is used to detect animals and objects. That may be a great starting point, though it gets a bit more technical when you are looking at applying it to a real life scenario.

How are you looking to have this system powered and what is going to prompt communication between the camera/detection system and the lights? As 200 meters is a significant distance.

Would it be better that an animal detected within a certain area around the road prompt a warning so that motorists can be more aware for that stretch of road? Will you need multiple cameras posted around to achieve this for a small stretch of road?


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Thank you Blayden

At the point I am realy open to ideas such as yours.the main focus is into making that awareness to driver to the presence of animals in the road so that he/she may change his behaviour to avert collision.

Kindly share more of your aproach as well,becouse the issue of light I brought in as my concern was drivers give reason that this collision is due to lack of visibility at night



Hey Maboloka,

With Bobs observation of animals erratic behaviour, it might be better to set up an area of the road that has awareness of any animals to activate these lights and even perhaps a warning sign that an animal is present and to be aware of it? As animals directly on the road will already be within that area of detection, it would possibly be a partial solution to both problems. However, this would require a pretty extensive set up, with multiple cameras looking at all areas and a lighting/awareness system that would be bright enough for the animal and road to be lit up.

I don’t know your specific use case or what terrain you are looking at implementing this in, as that can change the way its done dependant on what barriers/foliage would be in the area?


Hi Maboloka248626

With the quality of the modern headlight and the fact that most of these collisions occur on non suburban (country) roads and high power driving lights are commonly used I don’t think lack of visibility plays a big part. Probably complacency, slow reflexes, over speeding for the conditions and expectations etc might be more to blame. There are some collisions of course which cannot be avoided for instance a Kangaroo could literally jump onto the bonnet of a speeding car with major consequences and things like Wombats which can do massive damage are surprisingly fast when they want to be, usually fatally fast.

Awareness !!! There are literally thousands of signs at roadside advising of animal presence ant types of animal to expect. Drivers ignore at your peril and make it your business to be aware of different behaviours at different times of day.
Cheers Bob

i All
Koalas. Now here is a little cutie that really needs us.
I have noted that the Hunter Motorway between the M1 and New England Highway Particularly near the M1 junction has several OVERHEAD sort of suspended bridges which I believe are to encourage safe crossing for these little fellows.

So I think that with the increased motorways and speed of travel the powers that be are attempting to do something about the destruction of wildlife due to high speed motoring.
Cheers Bob

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Hi @Maboloka248626
I remember speaking to a friend about tracking bats around Circular Quay and we found this paper:

The paper is focused on larger animals like you would find in America. No good for bats; perfect for cows. Making this work with smaller animals like koalas will, I think, require a very good quality camera and a focus on movement.

Here is the code base and link to the model.

Maybe, for safety reasons, you could make a scaled model out of Lego or paddle pop sticks. Use some kids toys as the animals? The controlled environment would allow rapid learning. Maybe copy a piece of Australian road that have a high statistical chance of animal collisions.
This paper by QLD Tech Institute has a a nice summary. However more importantly, at the bottom you’ll find references to where they got their raw data from. :slight_smile:

What a cool idea! Good luck.


I live in a semi-rural area.
We recently had a new neighbour call the local council office to request the removal of the WOMBAT CROSSING sign on our road.
The reason: 'Too many wombats are being hit by cars out here!
I don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.

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Thank you very much for your contribution

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On highways, cars are very fast, so speed sensors need to be very sensitive.