When it comes to cutting-edge technology, leave it to Japan to be ahead of the game. China may hold the record for the world’s fastest railway, but Japan is priding itself on a far more unique type of train. To prevent deer accidents, the Railway Technical Research Institute is installing an unusual barking system.
A three-second blast of the sound of a deer snorting attracts the animals’ attention, and 20 seconds of dog barking is enough to make them take flight.
So far, late-night tests have proved to reduce flockings by half. In 2016 alone, the transport ministry has seen 613 collisions. Hits can delay the punctual Japanese liners by up to 30 minutes. Still, engineers have put forward other possible solutions.
Another plan, which earned a railway employee Japan’s Good Design Award in December, is for deer crossings policed by ultrasonic waves, which allow animals access to the tracks at times when trains aren’t running.
Strangely enough, deer often approach railways due to their dietary needs for iron. Perhaps now they are realizing that licking tracks isn’t the safest way to snack.