Volvo’s cars will soon be able to detect and avoid crafty kangaroos

Volvo Kangaroo Detection Technology
Known globally as one of the most safety-minded automakers, Volvo has sent a team of engineers all the way to Canberra, Australia, to develop the world’s very first kangaroo-detection system.

The Swedish automaker explains that accidents with kangaroos represent a huge — and sometimes deadly — problem in Australia. The National Roads & Motorists’ Association (NRMA) reports that the roughly 20,000 car-on-kangaroo collisions that happen every year on Australian roads cost insurance companies over $53 million.

On paper, Volvo’s kangaroo detection tech is relatively simple. After all, the Swedish company has spent decades developing ways for motorists to avoid accidents with moose and reindeer, and engineers are essentially building an evolution of the City Safety software that’s currently available on nearly every member of the Volvo lineup.

In application, getting a car to safely avoid a kangaroo is a lot more complicated that it might sound. Martin Magnusson, one of Volvo’s senior safety engineers, explains that kangaroos are harder to detect because they’re much smaller than the mammals that typically meander across Swedish roads and their movements are faster and less consistent.

To begin, engineers are gathering data on kangaroos by observing them in their natural habitat. Once the observation phase is done, they’ll design a software that uses Volvo’s existing radar and camera technology to scope out the road ahead and warn the driver if it detects that a kangaroo is about to cross the road. The technology will automatically apply the brakes if it senses that a collision is imminent and the driver doesn’t respond.

Volvo hasn’t revealed when its kangaroo detection technology will be ready to hit the market, though it’s expected to land before the end of the decade. However, it goes without saying that the feature will not be offered in Europe, in the United States, or anywhere on the planet where kangaroos are only found in zoos or at specialty meat stores.


Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.