Volvo's self-driving cars are confused by kangaroos
Volo's newest driverless cars have a Large Animal Detection system, but there's a problem and it's unique to Australia.
The car's detection system can not deal with the way kangaroos hop about, so can not tell how far away the animals are, the ABC reports.
"We've noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight ... when it's in the air it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer," Volvo Australia's technical manager David Pickett said.
The cars use the ground as a reference point, so the animal detection system becomes confused by a hopping kangaroo, and can not tell how far away it is.
Volvo first tested the animal detection software on moose in Sweden, and it worked a treat.
A team was then sent to Australia 18 months ago to test the system on kangaroos, and they've be trying to solve the problem ever since.
Kangaroos cause more accidents than any other animal in Australia. The marsupials are responsible for about 90 per cent of collisions between vehicles and animals, according to NRMA Insurance.
It's not an easy problem to solve.
"First we have to start identifying the roo," Pickett told the ABC.
"We identify what a human looks like by how a human walks, because it's not only the one type of human — you've got short people, tall people, people wearing coats. The same applies to a roo."
"If you look at a roo sitting at the side of a road, standing at the side of a road, in motion, all these shapes are actually different."
Pickett said it was critical that the company solve the problem, but that it would delay the rollout of the driverless cars in Australia.