An unlikely road block in the seemingly inexorable development of the self-driving car, it turns out that the humble Kangaroo is causing Volvo a headache because of the way it hops.
Following the likes of Google and Tesla into the driverless development phase, the Swedish masters of the Very Sensible Car have reportedly run into trouble because its systems are currently unable to adjust to the Kangaroo's 'unique' movements.
Despite the current confusion around the kangaroo, the managing director of Volvo Australia, Kevin McCann, said the discovery was part of the development and testing of driverless technology, and wouldn't pose problems by the time Volvo's driverless cars would be available in 2020.
"Any company that would be working on the autonomous car concept would be having to do the same developmental work," he said. "We brought our engineers into Australia to begin the exercise of gathering the data of how the animals can move and behave so the computers can understand it more."
Earlier this month, Volvo's Australian technical manager, David Pickett, told the ABC that the problem stems from the cars' detection systems using the ground as a reference point, which made it difficult to judge how close the kangaroos/
"When it's in the air, it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer," he said.
"We are developing a car that can recognise kangaroos," he added.