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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Volvo has made safety a priority since the ball-bearing company produced its first car in 1927. Though that focus sometimes seems like Nordic high-mindedness, it’s grounded in something more pedestrian — the fact that in Volvo’s home country of Sweden, many of the pedestrians are moose.
The cars’ ability to protect passengers in ruminant-based collisions has made them popular where antlers and ice are in abundance. But company engineers are now taking a more antipodean approach, heading to Australia to develop avoidance strategies for kangaroo.

This isn’t just about the unpleasantness of roadkill wallaby. More than 20,000 kangaroo-caused incidents happen in Australia each year, doing more than AU $75m (US $55m) in damages and causing numerous fatalities and serious injuries. An adult red kangaroo can weigh 200lbs, and while that’s hardly elk-like, they can travel at speeds of more than 35mph, erratically bounding 25feet in a single leap.

More than 20,000 kangaroo-caused incidents happen in Australia each year.
That’s simply too fast for humans to react to, so Volvo is evolving its City Safety research to make outback driveabouts a bit safer. Cameras and radar are being trained to detect kangaroos — much like they detect cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and golden retrievers elsewhere — and prime the brakes in milliseconds, readying the car for a quick stop. If the driver doesn’t react to the danger, the car will warn the driver and brake hard to avoid the collision. Total reaction time from kangaroo detection drops from 1.2 seconds (human) to 0.05 seconds (Volvo). The driver will find this sudden stop surprising, certainly, though perhaps less surprising than a windshield full of kangaroo.

The market for kangaroo-avoidance technology is limited, surely, but the situation is a wonderful testing scenario to help Volvo reach its goal that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020. Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson has also been quoted as saying the company will accept liability for any accidents caused by Volvos driving autonomously. Maybe it makes sense to practice on kangaroos.
 

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Meh. How about try it on white tail deer? We don't have kangaroos OR moose in SE Virginia. I DID hit a 6 point buck one time in a Honda Accord. Did $1800 in damage.
 
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