In an effort to strengthen its reputation as the most advanced vehicle safety manufacturer in the world, Volvo is developing a system that can detect animals on the road and automatically brake to avoid a collision.
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The system promises to work much like the crash avoidance technology already incorporated into a number of Volvo vehicles, like City Safety and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Today’s systems use lasers and sensors that are fine-tuned to detect pedestrian-shaped objects in the path of the vehicle.

The animal detection system will be more precise, able to detect wildlife of different shapes and sizes as they wander into the vehicle’s path.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. reported there were 1.09 million car-versus-deer collisions in the US between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, leading to a damage bill of approximately US$3.5 billion ($3.7 billion).

According to The Detroit News, the technology will be included in high-end Volvo models like the XC90 over the next few years, and will trickle down through the range throughout the decade.

Although stray deer are not a big problem for Australian motorists, a system that could detect kangaroos and other animals would no doubt save lives and reduce the number of crashes on our roads.

Earlier this year, CarAdvice reviewed the full suite of crash avoidance technology offered by Volvo Australia in its S60 sedan, and we were mighty impressed.

City Safety operates at speeds below 30km/h, monitoring objects up to 6m from the vehicle’s front bumper and detecting those that are at least 80cm tall, while Adaptive Cruise Control with Distance Alert and Queue Assist works all the way up to 200km/h. Both are designed to avoid front-end crashes or at least reduce their severity by automatically braking.

Volvo’s City Safety system has been found to reduce the rate of crashes by 27 per cent compared with other SUVs in the US.