By on October 8, 2011

Soon, Volvos could sport yet another decal: “No animals will be harmed by this vehicle.” Volvo is working on a system that avoids roadkill. According to Bloomberg, the system

“uses a radar sensor and an infra-red camera to alert the driver to nearby critters and brake if a collision is unavoidable. That technology is due to be rolled out in a few years in cars like the XC90 sport-utility vehicle, priced at $38,400, after employees studied the movement of moose and deer in southern Sweden.”

Even David Cain, who runs the annual Roadkill Cook-off in Marlinton, West Virginia, does not see a conflict of interest:

“It’d be good because it’d allow the driver to avoid a lot of unnecessary animal killings. He could still choose to run over something that’s good for eating.”

According to Bloomberg, Volvo is not alone in its concern for our four-legged friends:

“BMW, the luxury-car leader, is also setting its sights on preventing roadkill. It showcased a system this year that shines a spot light on pedestrians or animals near the roadway at night by locating them with a heat-sensitive camera.”

Without the a propos sensitivity to this important issue, Bloomberg ends its report on the snide side:

“The winning dish at the 2011 event on Sept. 24 was Smeared Hog with Ground Hog Gravy a la Truck.”



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26 Comments on “PETA Hearts Volvo. Jesus Won’t...”

  • avatar

    I hope there’s also a rear facing camera to detect if the college girl on her cell phone who’s tailgating you is likely to notice your sudden brake lights. Bambi lives, but Cindi dies.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly what I was thinking.

      Also, what other kinds of “collateral” damage can come from a sudden unexpected application of brakes? Hot coffee burns, eyes poked out by tweezers, nasal or eardrum damage from, er, “scratching” fingers???

      In all seriousness, I am not at all comfortable with my vehicle suddenly slamming on the brakes for me. Too many possible problems. What about ice, oil, water on the road? What about if you are in the middle of an overtaking manouever?

      I just don’t like it.

  • avatar

    I don’t get the post title?

  • avatar

    Squirrels from coast-to-coast are gonna rejoice, and find new and innovative ways to defeat this system!!

    All joking aside if it only prevents moose and deer strikes, it will be totally worth it.

  • avatar

    Waste of time if it brakes for every stray small animal it will not pass a roadworthy inspection in NZ and Australia you are specifically NOT to brake or take avoiding action as that leads to other accidents this idea by Volvo is stupid

    • 0 avatar

      Many drivers are seriously injured or even killed in crashes with large animals such as deer and moose.

      Anyway, Bullwinkle and Chocolate the Moose thank Volvo.

      • 0 avatar

        I suspect they just won’t sell that system in AU and NZ cars.

        Why bother, when the biggest kangaroo is only 200 pounds, tops, and not all on the top of some spindly legs sized perfectly to put its body over your hood and into your windshield at highway speed?

        Here in North America hitting a deer, or especially an elk or moose with your car at speed can get you killed more reliably than “taking avoiding action” or mere “braking”.

        Adult elk are 500-700 pounds and will happily get knocked right over the hood into your windshield.

        Moose are 6 or 7 feet tall and weight between 600 (small cow) and 1500 (large bull) pounds.

        You DO NOT want to hit a moose at speed, because it really makes the moose angry. And kills you.

  • avatar

    Jesus won’t like it because everything (even roadkill) is in God’s hand. So just relax. Use your brain and your eyes. In most cases this will help. If not, it was God’s will and you have to accept it.

    Next logical step: Won’t somebody please think of the insects? Where are Volvo and PETA if you need them?

  • avatar

    This is so stupid it defies belief. Here in British Columbia, there are 2 irrefutable facts of life in the winter. Icy Roads, Wildlife.
    Spiking the brakes to avoid Bambi is a prescription for disaster more often than not. Letting a machine instead of the driver decide when it’s appropriate to hit the brakes is asking for trouble.
    Bad idea, big time.

  • avatar

    “after employees studied the movement of moose and deer in southern Sweden.”

    Hitting a moose isn’t good for the driver or passengers. Hitting a deer can go either way. I almost had one clear my hood and come straight in the windshield once. Provided this system is calibrated to only intervene when the obstacle is of roughly human mass or above, this has the capability to be a net positive.

  • avatar

    Maybe it would be helpful if a moose is standing in the middle of the road staring down your headlights (which I’ve actually encountered many times in my younger life), but if you hit a moose in that situation it’s mere inattention and you likely shouldn’t be driving at night.

    In most cases, a moose or deer will simply be down in the ditch and will dart out onto the highway with no warning. When that happens you either hit it or you miss it, and there’s often little you can do to change things one way or the other. A moose who dashes out into the highway like that will likely be well on its way across the hood of your car before the infrared camera even detects it.

    p.s. The title (as well as the film–dear Jesus) reminds me of something by Philip K Dick or such. Cormac McCarthy, perhaps? Dick wrote some good stuff, a lot of crap as well, but some good stuff. McCarthy’s always struck a chord in me, great stuff….

    We were heading out camping once when I was young and cocky and we hit a snowshoe hare that dashed out in the road in front of us (in a Pinto of all things). Absolutely nothing we could do about it. I watched it twist and turn a few times on the road behind us before it fell to the ground and died. I told the driver to stop and turn around, and we went back to get it. There was no damage to it that I could see (probably got hit in the head), so I took it and when we got to our campsite I cleaned it, cooked it, and we ate it that night about two or three in the morning. We caught a few Atlantic salmon over the next few days and had a hell of a time. It’s always interesting the things that stay with you…

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Do those guys know what a roo bar is for?

  • avatar

    I hate PETA so this news has upset me. I shall eat a big, fat juicy animal to comfort myself.

  • avatar

    A Bull Bar is the best answer but these swedish shit boxes arent strong enough to carry one

  • avatar

    $38,400 for this feature? That’s a little expensive, don’t you think?

    In all seriousness, this is a good idea, but it will have to be calibrated for an appropriate size target.

  • avatar

    Theres always the completely free safety feature known as “keeping an eye on the road” that comes standard with every car built.

    Though, there are squirrels that dare drivers, I had one stand in the middle of the road ahead of me, even as I stopped. It finally moved when I honked.

    In the end I don’t smell roadkill, I smell green-washing.

  • avatar

    Why on earth would they introduce it in the only vehicle they make whose hood is high enough, so drivers don’t have to worry much about critters coming through the windshield?

    It might be a good system, but it will inevitably be more beneficial in a low car than tall one.

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