Swedish car manufacturer Volvo’s self-driving car is in danger of grinding to a halt in Australia because their technology cannot cope with kangaroos.
While other large animals walk, run, trot or lope, well, kangaroos jump.
Volvo’s self-driving car is unable to detect kangaroos because hopping confuses its systems; the Swedish car maker said.
According to The Guardian, the company’s “Large Animal Detection system” can identify and avoid deer, elk and caribou, but early testing in Australia shows it cannot adjust to the kangaroo’s unique method of movement.
The managing director of Volvo Australia, Kevin McCann, said the discovery was part of the development and testing of driverless technology, and wouldn’t pose problems by the time Volvo’s driverless cars would be available in 2020.
“Any company that would be working on the autonomous car concept would be having to do the same developmental work,” he said. “We brought our engineers into Australia to begin the exercise of gathering the data of how the animals can move and behave so the computers can understand it more.”
In Australia kangaroos are the culprit of the majority of accidents involving vehicles and animals; accounting for 90% of them.