Kangaroos creates trouble for Volvo’s self-driving cars

Volvo Front self-drivingVolvo Front. Photo: Volvo.com

Kangaroos creates trouble for Volvo’s self-driving cars

Volvo’s self-driving cars have no trouble recognizing moose, deer or reindeer, but struggles to recognize bouncing animals like kangaroos. 


Volvo’s system for detecting animals in the roadway was developed in Sweden, and has been successfully tested against moose.

In Australia, other animals can be found along the road, and the Volvo system is struggling to recognize and asses distance to kangaroos, admits the car manufacturer’s technical chief David Pickett.

– When they are in the air, they seem to be further away. When they land, they appear to be closer, he says to Australian newscaster ABC.

Volvo’s technicians are now working hard to get the cars to recognize kangaroo and other jumping animals, and they hope that the problem will be solved by 2020. After that the Volvo’s self-driving cars are scheduled to be fully developed and ready for sale.

Tesla hot on Volvo’s heels

– Self-driving cars do not exist yet, and to develop the technique that recognizes kangaroo is part of the development, says Australia CEO for Volvo, Kevin McCann to the Guardian.

In Australia, 16,000 traffic accidents occur annually, where kangaroos are involved, and what in the Nordic region may seem like a rather marginal problem is very real to Australians.

Volvo is not alone in investing in self-driven cars. Tesla has promised to have a self-driven version of their Model S ready throughout the year, which they will demonstrate by letting the car drive the 4,500 kilometers from Los Angeles to New York entirely on its own.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today