Volvo to develop kangaroo detection and collision avoidance technology
Volvo engineers have arrived in Australia to begin tweaking the company’s collision avoidance system to detect kangaroos and avoid collisions.
VOLVO BOFFINS have arrived in Australia to begin researching the roadside behaviour of kangaroos, and begin tweaking the brand’s clever collision avoidance system so that it can recognise kangaroos on the side of the road and avoid collisions. According to Insurance company NRMA, there are around 20,000 roo collisions each year in Australia costing around $75 million.
“A team of Volvo Cars safety engineers arrived from Sweden this week to study and film the roadside behaviour of kangaroos in their natural setting. The data Volvo Cars collects will be used to develop Australia’s first kangaroo detection and collision avoidance software,” Volvo said.
“Whereas Volvo Cars’ Pedestrian Detection technology is geared towards city driving, animal detection is designed to work at highway speeds,” said Volvo Cars’ Senior Safety Engineer, Martin Magnusson. “Kangaroos are very unpredictable animals and difficult to avoid, but we are confident we can refine our animal detection technology to detect them and avoid collisions on the highway.”
“In Sweden we have done research involving larger, slower moving animals like elk, reindeer and cows which are a serious threat on our roads. Kangaroos are smaller than these animals and their behaviour is more erratic. This is why it’s important that we test and calibrate our technology on real kangaroos in their natural environment.”
“Volvo Cars’ City Safety truly is state of the art technology, because the brakes can be primed in milliseconds, much faster than a human,” Magnusson said. “We are only at the beginning of what is possible.”
Volvo Car Australia Managing Director Kevin McCann said kangaroo research is the latest focus area to help realise Volvo Cars’ 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 and eventually make a hard braking to avoid a collision.” he said.