Road safety example – How TAST can help save lives of drivers and animals

If a car is moving at 100 km/hr (62mph), then at 500ft (152m), detection of a deer would allow 5.5 seconds to impact. Sound travels in air at 330m/second—so if the sound were emitted instantly upon detection (electronics should be fast) it would reach the animal’s ear in half a second.

Is that soon enough for the system to work? Yes, according to early calculations. Startle response latency in a large animal like a deer might be 0.3 seconds. Assuming processing time of 0.5 seconds in the brain to go from startle to an actual flight response, plus an additional 1.5 to 2 seconds it would take for a deer to get out way, the system would have about 3 seconds from the sound emission to the road being cleared—time enough to avoid our 62mph car. This is a highly realistic and promising outcome for the system to achieve.

GeneusWave deterrent capability can be applied to deliver improved road safety.

An array of sensors (e.g. ultrasound or infrared based) detects the presence of an animal on the road. The sensor triggers a directional loudspeaker which projects a specific, high-intensity noise pulse that temporarily exceeds the noise of the vehicle’s engine.

The animals then abandon any ongoing behavior and immediately exhibit a flight response away from the loudspeaker. The sound pulse will be projected at a frequency where the animals’ hearing sensitivity is high and the engine noise is moderate. The continuous engine noise will at most be advantageous as it provides a baseline noise floor against which the startle response can be elicited.

The image of “a deer caught in the headlights” exists because the animal’s eyes are adapted to the dark night and the animal is therefore temporarily blinded. The Targeted Acoustic Startle Technology uses a different sensory modality (sound) that will trigger a deer’s flight response and cause it to spring to safety.

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