Testing Volvo’s large animal detection

I’ve tested Volvo’s Pilot Assist and Park Assist Pilot in the Volvo XC90 and Pilot Assist II when I briefly drove the Volvo S90 last fall. But I hadn’t yet had a chance to test the Large Animal Detection system. So I enlisted a menacing five-foot T. rex rather than driving around on rural roads waiting for a deer to jump out at me.

I’ve included a short video clip below, but it requires some caveats. The first thing to know is that the test worked. When I drove up to the T. rex at 8-10 mph, the brakes engaged fully and a blinking red-and-white car symbol appeared in the HUD. It did stop the car, though I couldn’t help but hit the brake pedal when the warnings went off. So maybe I helped? But the system did its job.

The issue was with the test dinosaur. As you’ll see in the clip, he falls over, but that’s because it was a breezy day and he’s filled with air. The Volvo did not hit him, though it does come very close. I do wonder about the short stopping distance; it may be because my large animal wasn’t really moving until he fell over so the sensors didn’t pick up on his large animal-ness sooner.

I’ll keep working on T. rex to make him more test-worthy for animal and pedestrian sensors. Because so far, none of my friends or family have volunteered to walk in front of a car with advanced technology to see if it stops in time.