Driverless kangaroos

Yeah, I can see how this would need some special software.

Driverless car makers are discovering a unique problem as they begin to test the vehicles in Australia.

It turns out the unusual way that kangaroos move completely throws off the car’s animal detection system.

“We’ve noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight … when it’s in the air it actually looks like it’s further away, then it lands and it looks closer,” Volvo Australia’s technical manager David Pickett said.

Because the cars use the ground as a reference point, they become confused by a hopping kangaroo, unable to determine how far away it is.

But Mr Pickett said it was even more complicated than that.

“First we have to start identifying the roo,” he said.

“We identify what a human looks like by how a human walks, because it’s not only the one type of human — you’ve got short people, tall people, people wearing coats. The same applies to a roo.

“If you look at a roo sitting at the side of a road, standing at the side of a road, in motion, all these shapes are actually different.”
The company nailed down their large animal detection software, first tested on moose in Sweden. But the research team, who were sent to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in Canberra 18 months ago to study roos, are still solving the Australian problem.

“It’s quite interesting for them,” Mr Pickett said.

Sorry for the long block quote, but it was too well written (goodonya ABC) to ignore.
Just fascinating how much this software has to take into account.
I guess what we are going to end up with is country (region?) specific software versions. I mean there is no point in having kangaroo code running in a Swedish car, right? And same in Australia, why would you need moose code floating around in your cars firmware….? When was the last time any of you Aussie readers had to swerve to miss a moose?

It boggles (my) the mind to think about all this code running in real time driving a car down the road. I just hope that I get to experience it at some stage in my life, but sadly, I think it is going to be out of my reach…. Just like an electric car (that said, saw a pretty sweet little electric Smart Car that was in my price range, but only if I sold Martty). But hey, that does not stop me blogging about it.