Automotive

Volvo testing technology to prevent meeting of car and kangaroo

Volvo testing technology to pr...
Kangaroos are a serious hazard on Australian roads, and Volvo is looking to use technology to avoid the marsupial colliding with its vehicles
Kangaroos are a serious hazard on Australian roads, and Volvo is looking to use technology to avoid the marsupial colliding with its vehicles
View 4 Images
Volvo is working on technology for its vehicles that detects Kangaroos and brings the car to a gentle stop before a collision can occur
1/4
Volvo is working on technology for its vehicles that detects Kangaroos and brings the car to a gentle stop before a collision can occur
Just like moose and deer in other parts of the world, strong, agile kangaroos wreak all kinds of havoc when bounding across Australian roads
2/4
Just like moose and deer in other parts of the world, strong, agile kangaroos wreak all kinds of havoc when bounding across Australian roads
Kangaroos are a serious hazard on Australian roads, and Volvo is looking to use technology to avoid the marsupial colliding with its vehicles
3/4
Kangaroos are a serious hazard on Australian roads, and Volvo is looking to use technology to avoid the marsupial colliding with its vehicles
Volvo's system churns through 15 images every second and is claimed to respond to an emergency situation in half the time a human
4/4
Volvo's system churns through 15 images every second and is claimed to respond to an emergency situation in half the time a human
View gallery - 4 images

Just like moose and deer in other parts of the world, strong and agile kangaroos wreak all kinds of havoc when bounding across Australian roads. In an effort to limit the damage, Volvo is working on technology for its vehicles that detects the roos and brings the car to a gentle stop before a collision can occur.

Volvo claims that there are more than 20,000 collisions between kangaroos and cars in Australia each year. This results in serious damage to vehicles, animals and humans involved, so as part of the company's vision to have no one killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020, it is expanding into kangaroo detection.

The system is an adaptation of the company's existing technology known as the City Safety system, which is designed to detect cars, cyclists and pedestrians. But while the City Safety technology is optimized for city driving, the animal detection version is intended to work at highway speeds.

Volvo's system churns through 15 images every second and is claimed to respond to an emergency situation in half the time a human
Volvo's system churns through 15 images every second and is claimed to respond to an emergency situation in half the time a human

A radar built into the grille constantly scans the road ahead, looking out for moving objects. Meanwhile, a light-sensitive, high-res camera in the windshield works in synch with the radar to determine which way the object is moving and passes the information onto an onboard computer that crunches the numbers. This system churns through 15 images every second and is claimed to respond to an emergency situation in half the time a human does. Volvo says it is able to identify danger and hit the brakes within 0.05 seconds, compared to the 1.2 seconds it takes us mere mortals.

Volvo has been carrying out research in Europe on animal detection for some time, albeit with slower and more cumbersome creatures like cows and moose. Adult kangaroos, which are large and capable of moving very quickly, present another challenge for the team. It is carrying out research this week at a nature reserve outside of Australia's capital Canberra, which involves studying and filming the roadside behavior of kangaroos in the wild.

Source: Volvo

View gallery - 4 images
5 comments
Bob Stuart
This rig waits 'till the beast is on the road to detect it and then manages a gentle stop? It must limit road speed to a slow jog. Moose are seldom in a big hurry unless they want to fight, but deer will speed up to jump a fence on their way to cross a road.
Captain Obvious
How about deer? We have not so many kangaroos in New York, but we are overrun with deer.
dsiple
They should test these in Pennsylvania to keep motorists from hitting the abundance of deer that cross the road.
johnjjh
It's nice that Volvo is trying to make driving safer in Australia. It will not work effectively in all cases however. From my own experience driving in OZ I have found that kangaroos are aggressively stupid, and will run into your car, even if you come to a complete stop. In order to avoid them you not only need to know where they are, but must be ready to take evasive action, hoping to outguess where they are going to jump next. Part skill and part luck. JJH
Tony Wood
I live in the Lockyer Valley in Queensland, Kangaroos have done a lot of damage to my cars through the years and even when stopped the stupid things will still slam into your car. At night I usually turn off the headlights for a moment and sound the horn, this seems to get their attention, but it sure scares the bejeezus out of the passengers if they're not "Bushies". There are many devices designed to scare off roos but they're not really all that good simply because roos on the hop are very stupid animals.