MnDOT Innovative Ideas Program- Phase II Deer Warning System

MInnesota, Minnesota

Crashes involving vehicles and animals have been recognized as a significant safety issue in Minnesota for several decades. These crashes typically represent three to six percent of all crashes. In 2008, there were 2,538 accidents involving deer that resulted in nine fatalities and 360 injuries.

MnDOT deployed two deer detection and warning systems near Camden State Park near Marshall, Minnesota. In 2006, SRF upgraded this system with an advanced ultra-low power communications and control system, low-power LED beacons, and a solar recharging system.

Since this deployment, SRF made major revisions to the design through additional deployments in Idaho and Ontario, Canada, which have improved long-term stability, and improved the power systems to enable greater reliability. In 2011, MnDOT deployed a third generation system in Dayton, Minnesota that featured a number of improvements over earlier designs, including:

  • Enhanced detection flexibility – Options for dealing with difficult terrain and “area” (as opposed to virtual fence) detection
  • Remote management – remote monitoring of system operations and data logs
  • Improved reliability – long-term operation on rechargeable power sources and improved stability of detection adjustments

The system near Dayton has been operating since November of 2011. It has shown excellent reliability and has proven the value of remote monitoring and self-diagnostic notification systems.

Minnesota Department of Transportation