TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Driving in Deer country

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by RobertSeattle, May 23, 2016.

  1. RobertSeattle

    RobertSeattle Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Curious about how good the emergency breaking system is in regards to deer, elk, etc. Any information about this?

    (My X delivery is June 1 - I hit a deer in a non Tesla vehicle on I90 near Ellensburg, WA, early Sunday morning so I'm a little bit curious...)
     
  2. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Messages:
    1,969
    Location:
    Northern California
    All I know is that the deer in my area don't run and scatter when I drive up to them like they did in the ICE cars we have. I am not sure they know what to do with a EV until maybe it's right on top of them. I worry they will do something stupid at the last moment.

    As far as the braking is concerned. It stops pretty short IMHO but I have not tried to lock up the brakes yet. I once had the car do a panic break on something in the roadway but I steered around it before it got much braking engaged and I did not stop to see what it was. I think it was either a dead deer carcass or a dog.
     
  3. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,958
    Location:
    South Surrey, BC
    I don't see how any emergency braking system can help with deer. If it's a deer on the road in front of you, fine, but then the driver should see it and stop and that's not how most collisions with deer happen. They happen because deer dart from the sides of the road right across your path. I sure wouldn't want my car to slam on the brakes in those circumstances, especially if a car is behind me, and another coming from the other direction. I'd rather hit the deer than have my vehicle pushed in front of a semi or something. I drive through deer country regularly, and not just a few deer but fields full of them. One thing I've learned is always expect them to dart out in front of you. You need to be looking at the sides of the road and when you see one you have to slow down because there's usually always more. And if another one is also on the other side of the road, they're crossing, and don't think your vehicle will make them stay on the side of the road, since at last minute they can jump out in front of you even though they see you coming. I tell my wife I swear they're suicidal but really they're just stupid. Vehicles haven't been around long enough for their small brains and evolution to compute a danger to not run in front of. Those whistling devices don't work either.

    Do deer whistles work to prevent collisions with wildlife?
     
    • Like x 2
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,756
    Location:
    Texas
    Where I live, the deer are generally hidden until the last minute. An infrared large herbivore detection system would be needed to give advance warning that there were actually deer present. Last year three ran across the freeway and I missed them by about one second. I never saw them until they were right in front of me. Had there been a warning system, I could have slowed down and reduced my heart rate by about 100.
     
  5. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    3,024
    Location:
    Delaware
    Some current automotive radar systems claim to be able to detect and recognize pedestrians at 100m/330ft - deer presumably have very similar radar cross sections.

    As far as I know, Tesla doesn't currently have anything in place to prevent deer impacts, but they might eventually. Even the last minute darting in from the side should be within the radar's 45 degree arc to each side, unless the deer is moving faster than the car...

    I'm also toying with the idea of putting a Seek camera in the hood scoop and routing a USB extension to a tablet on my dash (which can also run TMSpy and be full of movies for any long supercharger delays.)
     
  6. vandacca

    vandacca Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,957
    Location:
    Hamilton
    I've been driving a 1998 4x4 F150 with 17" wheels since 1998 and it's got a very big frontal surface area. Surprisingly, I have hit very few birds and squirrels, and nothing larger than that, but there have been a lot of close-calls. I have used deer whistles for long periods of times (before they fall off) and they do work (for me atleast). I noticed that birds and animals move away from the vehicle a good 50-60m ahead of me as I drive, and if I don't have the deer whistles they usually move away (sometimes in front) 5-10m ahead of me.

    So, my experience is that they do work, countering the article above. Maybe it depends on placement and/or brand.

    I also own the seek camera and I highly doubt that will work to detect animals. The quality/resolution is extremely poor and it's not a true infra-red camera. It uses a combination of heat (which it can't detect through the windshield) and video analysis to generate a mock heat signature.

    A quality infra-red camera (costing more than a few thousand dollars) would need to be mounted outside the vehicle to do a proper job IMO.
     
  7. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    3,024
    Location:
    Delaware
    You're certainly correct that a thermal camera won't work through a windshield - which wasn't where I'm considering putting it.

    The resolution on the Seek certainly isn't great, but I'm not sure it has to be for it to be effective - see hot spots in the cool dark woods, pay more attention.

    This is the first time I've heard that part about not being a real thermal camera - the results I've seen appear very similar to my low end FLIR camera to my semi educated eye. Where did you get this information?
     
  8. vandacca

    vandacca Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,957
    Location:
    Hamilton
    When I was researching thermal cameras for the iPhone, there were two main contenders at the time (almost a year ago). There were advantages and disadvantages between the two, but one thing I recalled was how the thermal image was generated. The Seek had faster image processing, due to a combination of using both a thermal image (from the seek camera) and a visible image (from seek or iphone camera).

    If you're very careful, look at the image and you'll see that the thermal imaging is actually wrong in places. Place a kettle of water on a stove top and heat it up. If you have a stainless steel top, you can see the reflection of the kettle in the stainless steel and it will incorrectly show up hot in the thermal image. You can try placing a mirror a foot away from the kettle and check the thermal signature. The mirror should be room temperature, but if the reflection shows it as being hot, then that would suggest flawed software interpretation of the two images.
     
  9. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Pasco, WA
    I try to stay a safe distance behind another vehicle (ICE) so they make enough noise. In known deer areas, I've even modified my speed to stay behind another vehicle "just in case". I've not had a large animal strike in any car, but I have had some close calls with owls/birds in the Leaf. I think the quiet EV is more susceptible to animal strikes.
     
  10. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    3,024
    Location:
    Delaware
    If you say so. I just tried blocking and exposing the visible camera on my phone with the Seek, and there was no difference in the displayed image whatsoever. The specs also describe a true micro-bolometer array in the Seek, like you'd expect for any thermal camera. :)
     
  11. vandacca

    vandacca Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,957
    Location:
    Hamilton
    Doesn't seem likely that it would use the phone camera (since the offset is so great). I wonder if the seek has sensor(s) that are sensitive to both thermal and visible light?

    I see that they now have a Seek XR? Is that the one you have? My research was on the original one I bought almost a year ago.

    Anyway, my biggest complaint with it is the poor resolution.
     

Share This Page