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Indian engineers develop on-road cow alert system for daily commuters

Stray animals blocking the driveway, especially cows. Yes! That a genuine danger faced by most of the drivers in India. There are numerous instances of accidents and collisions triggered by the cattle on road. To protect drivers in such situations, a team of Indian engineers at Gujarat Technological University in Ahmedabad have developed a real-time automatic obstacle detection and alert system. As per their claims, it is capable of detecting cows with an accuracy of 80 % for now and improvements are being done with every passing day.


The system utilizes a dashboard camera and an algorithm developed to detect whether the object in front of the vehicle is a cow and if that’s the case, by analyzing movements and speed, it calculates the risk factor involved. In highly dangerous situations, audio and visual indicators nudge the driver to apply brakes, thus preventing harm to both driver and stray animal. The system is cable of detecting on-road cows within a distance of 30 meters and the researchers are working on improving this to 60 to 80m.

For now, the major focus is on cows, but the system is capable of detecting other obstacles like a dog or a kid suddenly coming in front of a speeding car. This can be attained by proper testing and optimization of the system before using it on highways said Sachin Sharma, the PhD student of Electronics and Communications Department developing this system.

Dharmesh Shah, former dean at GTU said the proposed system is highly cost efficient, reliable and can be easily fitted in any automobile. It costs around Rs. 50k to fit this system in present state, but the price will surely drop down when it's released for mass production.

As of now, even the algorithm is not optimized for low light conditions and the problem is yet to be addressed. The research was originally published in the Indonesian Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Source: IAES

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