Volvo is not content with saving people from being hit by cars... the company is now developing a system that automatically brakes for animals on the road
Volvo says the aim of the project is to develop a safety system that reduces the risk of collisions with wild animals, which kills thousands of drivers around the world every year.
The new technology is part of Volvo Car Corporation's vision for 2020 - that nobody should suffer serious injury in a new Volvo.
The new system is based on technologies from Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake and will be launched on the market in a few years' time.
"The system consists of two parts - a radar sensor and an infra-red camera that can register the traffic situation," says Andreas Eidehall, technical expert at Volvo Car Corporation.
As the majority of accidents with animals occur at dusk or after nightfall it is essential for the system to function in the dark.
The camera monitors the road ahead and if an animal is within range the system alerts the driver with an audible signal. If the driver does not react, the brakes are automatically applied.
"The goal is for the system to function at the normal rural highway speeds. In cases in which it cannot help the driver entirely avoid the collision, the system will slow down the car sufficiently to help reduce the force of impact and thus of serious injuries," continues Andreas Eidehall.
This is different to the current pedestrian detection system which operates at low speeds specifically for city usage.
In the first stage, the system will respond to large animals that risk injuring the driver or passengers in an impact, such as moose, deer and reindeer. The company is now working on teaching the system to recognise different animals.