One may assume that with the latest assisted driving systems, the number of animal collisions should decline. 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.
“This totally confuses the systems,”
said one spokesperson for the Sweden-based car maker.
The cars’ systems can easily detect animals that run or walk such as pets, cows, and deer. The semi-automated break system also can intervene when a large animals jump in front of the car.
However, kangaroos are one special problem for the systems of driverless cars. It is unclear either if the driver could take over the car in a timely matter when the system fails.
Fully Automated Cars Not Here Yet
The automated cars that need no human assistance at all are not here yet. Industry analysts estimated that they could be rolled out within five to 10 years. Fully autonomous cars are expected to hit the showrooms after 2035.
In the meantime, driverless car makers need to ensure that the systems work in every environment. Volvo tested its cars in Sweden where much of its wild areas are populated with moose. But when it tested the system in Australia, the company learned that the cars can’t detect kangaroos. In addition, German car parts supplier Robert Bosch had to tweak its braking systems due to black swan collisions.
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