Volvo discovers that kangaroos confuse their self-driving auto

Volvo's self-driving car can't deal with kangaroos

Like most of the other automobile companies, Volvo is also testing its own autonomous vehicle technology.

According to a report from Engadget, this rather unusual problem came as a bit of surprise, as Volvo's detection systems had previously encountered large animals without any issue.

Volvo first tested the animal detection software on moose in Sweden, and it worked a treat.

"Although it hasn't been tested in a kangaroo-specific environment, there was an instance where black swans were interfering, and so they had to build into the vehicle the ability to recognise animals", Amy Kaa said. Yet, Volvo said that a kangaroo hop can baffle systems because when the animals are mid-air the system thinks that they are moving farther away.

Kangaroos cause more auto accidents in Australia than all other animals combined, Melbourne-based newspaper Herald Sun reported previous year.

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Kangaroos cause more accidents than any other animal in Australia.

"We identify what a human looks like by how a human walks, because there isn't only the one type of human, you've got short people, tall people and people wearing coats". And although researchers were sent to Australia about a year and a half ago to study kangaroos in particular, it looks like Volvo is still trying to sort things out and make its autonomous cars capable of identifying the marsupials accurately. He noted that any driverless auto maker working in Australia would likely run into similar issues.

"The same applies to a kangaroo, if you look at it sitting at the side of a road, then standing at the side of a road or in motion, all the shapes are different".

Pickett said that engineers are still working on the problem, but that it would not delay the introduction of autonomous cars to Australia.

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