Kangaroo’s cause 20,000 accidents according to official figures in Australia. Kangaroo related car crashes in the country result in more than $75 million in insurance claims. Volvo is trying to solve this problem by testing Kangaroo avoidance technology in its cars in Australia.
“Whereas Volvo Cars’ Pedestrian Detection technology is geared towards city driving, our kangaroo detection research is focusing on highway speed situations,” said Martin Magnusson, Senior Safety Engineer at Volvo Cars. “Kangaroos are very unpredictable animals and difficult to avoid, but we are confident we can refine our technology to detect them and avoid collisions on the highway.
“In Sweden we have done research involving larger, slower moving animals like moose, reindeer and cows which are a serious threat on our roads. Kangaroos are smaller than these animals and their behavior is more erratic. This is why it’s important that we test and calibrate our technology on real kangaroos in their natural environment.”
Volvo’s radar and camera technology is intended to automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes when a collision is expected. The detection software is part of Volvo’s ‘vision that no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.
“This type of technology is not designed to take responsibility away from drivers. If the driver is inattentive the car will warn them and eventually make a hard braking to avoid a collision,” said Kevin McCann, Volvo Managing Director.
Meanwhile Volvo is in process of driving 100 autonomous Volvo XC90 SUV’s on the streets of Gothenburg by 2017. The information regarding the destination will have to fed to the specially designed interface and as the car is ready to take over, two paddles will light up in green suggesting the car is ready to take over from the driver. Once taken over, it will display the estimated amount of free time the driver has before reaching the destination. The car will monitor all the happenings around the car 360 degree through sensors, will be able to overtake slow moving cars safely.