In Brazil, researchers see AI as way to curb roadkill


A giant anteater lies at the side of the highway where it was killed in western Mato Grosso state. (Photo courtesy of the Brazilian Center for the Study of Road Ecology, CBEE)

A group of Brazilian computer scientists, alarmed by the amount of roadkill in their highly biodiverse country, are devising a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to alert drivers to wild animals attempting to cross roadways. Roadkill is a serious problem in Brazil given the country’s abundant wildlife and its dearth of bridges and tunnels built to create animal crossings. Complicating matters is the steady growth of Brazilian population centers and road networks, pushing humans and their vehicles into ever-closer proximity with wild animals. The Brazilian Center for the Study of Road Ecology (CBEE), a university-based wildlife research institute, estimates that 475 million vertebrate animals die on Brazilian roads every year, mostly smaller species such as armadillos, possums and capybaras. That amounts to 16 such deaths per second, the CBEE says. Starter species In an initial phase of work on the AI system, Gabriel Souto Ferrante... [Log in to read more]

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