Car watches out for kangaroos – level 3
They may be something of a tourist attraction, but they also pose a traffic hazard Down Under, and now Volvo is hoping to hop to the rescue with a new kangaroo detection system for Australia’s roads.
The Swedish carmaker has begun testing its first ever kangaroo safety technology. The software detects the marsupial’s movements through a radar installed in the vehicle’s front grilles. A windscreen-mounted camera also scans ahead for any sign of the animals’ activity, applying the brakes if any are spotted in the road.
The system processes 15 images every second and has a reaction time of 0.5 seconds, half that of the average human speed. It says the technology won’t take any of the driver’s responsibility away but rather be used as a backup. The company hopes its latest focus area will help its vision that no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.
According to Australia’s National Roads and Members Association, more than 20,000 cars are involved in collisions with kangaroos each year, costing more than 35 million pounds in insurance claims.
Difficult words: pose (to be), Down Under (Australia and New Zealand), hop to the rescue (this is a pun – to hurry to help someone and to jump), marsupial (a type of mammal), grille (the area where air gets into the car), mounted (fixed onto something), brake (a thing for slowing down or stopping), spot (to see), collision (when something collides – hits something else), insurance claim (a formal request to an insurance company to ask for a payment).
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