Published: 30th October 2015
Volvo Cars is developing kangaroo detection technology to solve one of the most costly causes of traffic collisions in Australia. Volvo Cars will start research this week at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra. Canberra is one of the nation’s hot-spots for kangaroo collisions.
A team of Volvo Cars safety experts travelled to the Australian Capital Territory this week to film and study the roadside behavior of kangaroos in their natural habitat. The data Volvo Cars collects will be used to develop the first ever kangaroo detection and collision avoidance system.
According to the National Roads & Motorists’ Association (NRMA) there are over 20,000 kangaroo strikes on Australian roads each year costing over AU $75 million in insurance claims. The human cost of serious injuries and fatalities from animal collisions is incalculable.
To help address this Volvo Cars is developing a unique system that uses radar and camera technology to detect kangaroos and automatically apply the brakes if an accident is imminent.
The technology behind this research into kangaroo detection is an evolution of City Safety which detects cars, cyclists and pedestrians both during the day and night.
A radar sensor in the grille scans the road ahead to detect moving objects like animals, cars, cyclists and pedestrians. A very advanced light-sensitive, high-resolution camera in the windscreen works in parallel with the radar to detect which way the object is moving and help the computer decide what action to take, if any.
When the object is detected, it takes 0.05 seconds for the computer system to react on the situation. This should be compared with the human reaction time of about 1.2 seconds.