Volvo is developing technology to reduce the risk of collisions with wild animals.

The system consists of a radar system and infra red camera that registers the road ahead. The system alerts the driver with an audible signal if an animals is within range. If the driver does not react, the brakes are automatically applied.

The IR camera is particularly important because it can see in the dark when most animal collisions occur. One challenge the engineers face is to teach the system to recognize different animals.

Development is underway to perfect the necessary decision making mechanisms. Collisions with wild animals pose a relatively high risk of danger according to an insurance company and the number of accidents involving animals is on the rise.

Reducing the risk of collisions with wild animals is part of Volvo's vision for 2020, that no one should suffer serious injury in one of its new cars. A few years back Volvo introduced its city safety technology.

Designed to help reduce low speed rear end collisions it shares some of the features with this new technology including applying the brakes to avoid an accident. The City Safety technology is already available and Volvo hopes to launch the new system in a few years time.