Indian engineers from Ahmedabad, Gujarat have developed an efficient and low-cost obstacle detection system. The newly devised system has been specially designed to detect cows and other animals on the road.
What is this about?
Researchers from Gujarat Technological University (GTU) has put together a system that consists a dashboard camera and an algorithm. The algorithm takes the inputs from the camera and analyses the movements to see if the objects near the vehicle is a cow or something else.
The system also determines if the movements of the animal have any risk on the vehicle. The system then generates audio and visual warning signs to alert the driver. The researcher has given the need for the invention to the slow infrastructure development in the country especially in the rural towns where stray animals and cattle are found mostly on the roads.
Researchers Sachin Sharma and Dharmesh Shah of the Department of Electronic & Communication at GTU said
In our current work, we have proposed and designed a system based on histogram research including oriented gradients and boosted cascade classifiers for automatic cow detection. The proposed system has achieved an overall efficiency of 80 per cent in terms of cow detection. The proposed system is a low-cost, highly reliable system which can easily be implemented in automobiles for detection of cow or any other animal after proper training and testing on the highway.
The device was tested in different scenarios to make it foolproof. However, it has achieved 80% success rate till now. The system is similar to Volvo’s City Safety system that detects pedestrians and other vehicles on the road and applies the brakes automatically. The system developed for the cows, however, does not brake automatically, it just alerts the driver if it finds any obstacle on the road. The braking duties have to be done by the driver himself.
Now that the cows feel safe on the road, this technology can become a serious pillar in India’s path to achieving autonomous cars. The technology has potential to develop into various warning devices to make the roads safer. The affordable device can avoid many accidents in the future and can also become the pillar of autonomous vehicles in the country.
India has a long way to go before the highways are deemed safe. According to WHO the leading cause of death between the age of 15 to 29 is road accidents. India has the second largest road network in the world, and such cost effective solutions can bring down the fatalities due to the accidents.
This detection system may enable India to become autonomous car country in the future, but then other systems like “moron driver avoidance system” will have to be developed to make the whole set-up successful.