Volvo has been keeping people safe inside its cars for decades. More recently, the company began looking for ways to keep everyone on the road safe– and that includes people riding other cars, urban cyclists, and even the occasional moose who happens to wander into traffic.
You read that right. Since 2015, Volvo has been working on technology spot, identify, and avoid collisions with oversized animals. That tech helps to stop the car before it collides with
mooses meece moose in Northern climates, kangaroos in Australia, and even deer in the US.
To make it work, Volvo’s engineers started by studying animal behavior. “We put a lot of effort in seeing how animals moved and teaching the computer to look for that movement,” said Volvo lead safety engineer Malin Ekholm in an interview with Wired. “You can’t just tell a moose to run across the road, so we created initial captures of real animals and then simulated variations of their movement for the computer.” The system matches up sizes and shapes of “known” animal threats, and even has a database of common behaviors programmed in so it always knows how to behave to avoid a collision. That means that, while it may not be exactly “green tech” in the way we normally think about it here at Gas 2, it certainly helps to keep human machinations from impacting the local wildlife … literally!
You can read more from Ekholm, directly, in this tech review from Wired, and check out a few official Volvo pictures of the system, in action, in the photo gallery, below.