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Carmakers give up on software that avoids kangaroos

Once they go airborne, collision avoidance software can't make sense of kangaroos.

Enlarge / Once they go airborne, collision avoidance software can’t make sense of kangaroos. (credit: Raimund Linke)

Shane Williams is always on the lookout for dead kangaroos. She keeps a can of red spray paint and a pillowcase in her car, just in case she finds one on the side of the road.

When Williams spots a roo, she hops out of her car to check for an orphaned joey, which might still be in its now-dead mother’s pouch. She then sprays the adult with a large pink cross so drivers will know the body has been searched. If Williams, the founder of Bridgetown Wildlife Rescue, finds a baby roo, she’ll hang it up in a pillowcase inside the car for the ride home. Sometimes, she said, when the animals are too small to generate their own heat, “you just put ‘em straight down your top.”

Williams has had plenty of opportunities to refine her technique, as kangaroos are one of Australia’s biggest traffic threats.

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