The Swedish automaker – well known for its legacy of automotive safety – has an ambitious goal of making sure no one is killed or seriously injured inside one of its cars by 2020.
The Vision 2020 strategy is making sure that happens and of course they are very interested in autonomous and safety systems – but it has apparently met an awkward roadblock. The new S90, for example, can funnily enough detect large animals such as elk, horses or moose, day or night – but has issues recognizing the bouncing kangaroos. Yep, the spontaneous moves of dorky kangaroos confuse the Large Animal Detection system. “We’ve noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight when it’s in the air, it actually looks like it’s further away, then it lands and it looks closer,” comments Volvo Australia’s technical manager David Pickett.
Before laughing out loud – LOL – at Volvo and its geeky engineers, you need to know that in Australia, naturally, there’s a major problem: around 16,000 collisions between a car and a roo take place every year. Volvo has even sent part of its research team to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in Canberra to study the issue – but confirmed this won’t cause a delay in delivering autonomous cars in Australia in the near future.