A Smart Jersey Highway Barrier with Portal for Small Animal Passage and Driver Alert 2013-01-0620
Barriers are commonly used on roadways to separate and to protect against vehicles traveling in opposing directions from possible head-on collisions. However, these barriers may interfere with wildlife passage such that animals become trapped on the road. Typically, small animals cannot find safe passage across all traffic lanes due to the presence of solid barriers and eventually die after being hit by a vehicle. The occurrence of animal-to-vehicle collisions also presents a dangerous scenario for motorists as a driver may intuitively swerve to avoid hitting the animal. In this paper, a redesigned Jersey style barrier, named the Clemson smart portal, will be presented and discussed. This roadway barrier features a portal for small animal travel, along with a mechatronic-based warning system to notify drivers of animal passage. The smart barrier concept empowers the animals to cross the roadway through the portal, while a sensor detects their presence and activates a strobe light to alert motorists. Laboratory tests have successfully demonstrated this new barrier's capability to detect animal presence for various scenarios.