Measurements of deer with RADAR and LIDAR for active safety systems

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



To reduce the number and severity of accidents, automakers have invested in active safety systems to detect and track neighboring vehicles to prevent accidents. These systems often employ RADAR and LIDAR, which are not degraded by low lighting conditions. In this research effort, reflections from deer were measured using two sensors often employed in automotive active safety systems. Based on a total estimate of one million deer-vehicle collisions per year in the United States, the estimated cost is calculated to be $8,388,000,000 [1]. The majority of crashes occurs at dawn and dusk in the Fall and Spring [2].

The data includes tens of thousands of RADAR and LIDAR measurements of white-tail deer. The RADAR operates from 76.2 to 76.8 GHz. The LIDAR is a time-of-flight device operating at 905 nm. The measurements capture the deer in many aspects: standing alone, feeding, walking, running, does with fawns, deer grooming each other and gathered in large groups. The collection area contains calibration targets allowing the measurements to be compared against targets with known cross-sections.

The measurements will be used to develop statistical models of the sensor responses from deer that are relevant to automotive active safety systems. These models characterize the detectability of deer for these sensors and provide information fundamental for system design and algorithm development.

Publisher's Statement

© 2015 SAE International. Publisher's version of record: http://doi.org/10.4271/2015-01-0217

Publication Title

SAE Technical Paper