Autonomous cars’ latest enemy is the kangaroo

by Eric Frederiksen | July 9, 2017

Australia, as all internet dwellers know, is where all the world’s most deadly animals live. The most poisonous spiders and snakes, the most dangerous crocodiles and sharks, and worst of all, the cassowary. Seriously, those birds will kill you. Even their trees can be downright terrifying. So it makes sense, then, that the animal that can foul up an autonomous car’s navigation system is an Australian native.

Volvo is hard at work on their own autonomous vehicle tech like every other car company. Autoblog is reporting that the company’s decision to test the car in Australia has raised an interesting glitch. Kangaroos aren’t weird just because they have a literal pocket on their bodies, or because they can kick you hard enough to kill you, they also move differently than just about anything else out there, and that’s throwing these cars off.

A teleporting marsupial

“When [the kangaroo] is in the air, it actually looks like it’s further away, then it lands and it looks closer,” said Volvo Australia’s technical manager David Pickett speaking to ABC Australia. So basically, it looks like it’s changing positions. This isn’t a problem for the car when it comes to other animals – Volvo’s cars can avoid mooses, for example.

Autoblog notes that kangaroos are a huge source of auto collisions in Australia as it is, so this isn’t entirely a surprise, but who knew a teleporting marsupial would stop up autonomous cars?

Autoblog


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...