Despite all the hype and the billions of dollars pouring into R&D of self-driving vehicles, the Australian kangaroo is proving that nature can be a formidable foe for even the most advanced manmade technology.
The sophisticated sensors designed to detect and adapt to external conditions are confused by the hopping of kangaroos, according to a report by Australia’s ABC News.
Because those sensors use the ground as a reference point, they’re having difficulty pinpointing the exact location of hopping ‘roos.
“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 Technical Manager David Pickett told ABC News.
It’s more than a matter of determining how far away the roo is, Picket told the news agency.
“First we have to start identifying the roo,” he said.
Annually, there are more than 16,000 collisions with roos in Australia, according to NRMA Insurance.
Pickett told ABC News that the kangaroo problem won’t delay the eventual rollout of autonomous vehicles in Australia.