One of the keys to making a car that can drive itself autonomously without any incident is for it to be able to detect obstacles in its way and react to them. So far most self-driving cars do not have an issue, although Volvo has recently found out that in Australia, one of the country’s national symbols the kangaroo, is giving their self-driving cars a hard time.

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If you’ve ever driven in Australia, you might have come across road signs and warnings, especially in less urban areas, that drivers should keep an eye out for kangaroos that might suddenly dash across the road. However Volvo is having trouble detecting kangaroos because of the way the animal moves.

According to Volvo’s Australian technical manager, David Pickett who spoke to ABC, how their car detects obstacles is by using the ground as a reference point, but since kangaroos hop when they move, “When it’s in the air, it actually looks like it’s further away, then it lands and it looks closer.”

The company already has a system that can detect large animals, and previous testing has found that it was capable of detecting and identify animals such as deer, elk, and caribou. In Australia kangaroos are the culprit of the majority of accidents involving vehicles and animals, accounting for 90% of them.

Filed in Transportation. Read more about Self-Driving Cars and Volvo.

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