The people of Sweden enjoy a high quality existence that includes universal health care, neat names full of letters we don't get, and Ikea furniture. There is, however, one threat to the Swedish way of life that stands above all others. I am, of course, talking about Alces alces, better known as the moose.
Think I'm joking? Those antlered devils will stop at nothing until they've taken away everything the Swedes hold dear, like meatballs, and cars named after fighter jets. Fortunately, Volvo has found a way to strike back.
Moose are such a big deal that the Swedes came up with a test of a car's ability to swerve and avoid such an animal back in the 1970s. Cleverly, it is called the "moose test." Some cars pass it, some cars don't. Others are too focused on drifting to care about the welfare of the moose.
Volvo says that with the new XC90, due out later this year, they will offer what they say is a "world first" animal collision mitigation system that detects meese and other creatures in both daylight and darkness and then brakes for them. Neat!
Volvo says they have the very ambitious goal of bringing the number of people killed or seriously injured in their cars down to zero by 2020. Yes, zero. They're currently testing a whole suite of new technologies designed to help keep drivers from killing themselves and other people that will go on the XC90, including pedestrian detection in the dark, road edge and barrier detection, and cruise control that keeps you in your lane by following the vehicle ahead.
They also released some delightful photos of their moose-mitigation technologies in action. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.