The system will be designed to also work in the dark, since most collisions with wild animals take place at dawn and dusk and during the dark winter months.
The system consists of two parts - a radar sensor and an infra-red camera that can register the traffic situations. 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," said Andreas Eidehall, technical expert in the field of active safety systems at Volvo Car Corporation.
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 greatest danger is from collisions with moose. ("In an impact with a moose there is a relatively high risk of personal injury since it is common for the animal to end up on or roll across the front of the car and its windscreen," added Eidehall.