Volvo has experience when it comes to avoid collisions with moose, reindeer and cows. Now, the Swedish carmaker of a new challenge arises: with a newly developed automatic braking system, Volvo wants to avoid also clashes with kangaroos.
Volvo has a vision: who drives with a new Volvo, will have almost a technical Guardian Angel on board. The car must be sure to prevent accidents as far as possible and no longer serious demage can be done. The Swedish carmaker has set itself the goal to set that by year 2020 will be no road deaths.
To achieve this goal, Volvo’s safety research has put a new focus on the Kangaroo detection. Australia has a population of around 23 million and 34 million kangaroos. Every year it comes to approximately 20,000 accidents due to collisions with the marsupials. They create insurance costs by the equivalent of some 48.5 million euros, as well as serious injuries and deaths that are not quantifiable.
“The behaviour of kangaroos is difficult to predict and therefore it is difficult to avoid this. We are however confident that we can refine our animal detection system and then identify the animals to avoid collisions”, explains Martin Magnusson from Volvo. Automatic braking system “Volvo City Safety” detection technology is expanded, Volvo is planning to keep dedicated to the different circumstances development of new technologies.
Canberra is hotspot for Kangaroo collisions
So far, the company has developed primarily brake systems for Europe. Thus it specializes more deer and moose, as on kangaroos. But now Volvo has sent experts in the land of kangaroos, to explore the behavior of the animals on the spot.
A team of security experts observed and filmed the animals surrounding the Tidbinbilla nature reserve, near the capital Canberra. The findings of the investigations are then used for the world’s first Kangaroo-detection system.
“Kangaroos are much smaller and behave unpredictably. That’s why it’s so important that we test our technology here on the spot with real kangaroos in their natural environment and vote. We have an advanced technology within prepares the brakes of milliseconds – much faster as ever a man would react with the Volvo City safety system. If the driver is distracted, warns him the system first and then initiates an emergency stop to avoid a collision.”
Twice as fast response time saves lives
Integrated into grill scanners from radar system continuously searching for threats on the road. Comparing data with the images from high-resolution cameras to confirming with windscreen sensors. For Volvo system is visible in which direction the animal moves. This system is checking if there is a risk for collision. Confirmed by scanners system activate braks in microsecond automatically.
For Europe, Volvo has already developed the automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian and Cyclist ID. But there is a crucial difference, system designer said: “Volvo-Pedestrian detection on urban transport is very differnet to Kangaroo Safety System – research focuses on situations at highway speeds” said Magnusson. This two system together are giving excellent results in most situations.
The ultimate response time of the technology is twice faster to avarage driver response time.