We reported yesterday that Audi is trying to eliminate waiting at red lights. Now we hear Volvo has its own quirky science project relating to traffic automation. Wired magazine reports the Swedish brand is studying the flying patterns of locusts to see if it can build insect-like awareness into its cars.
Locusts fly in dense swarms – not unlike cars during rush hour – but manage to avoid crashing into each other. The secret lies in their nervous systems.; Signals are transmitted directly from the eyes to the wings, ensuring quick, instinctive reactions. Volvo engineers think they might be able to replicate this setup on an automobile, and have been hard at work developing the right programming.
Volvo concedes it has not made much progress yet. As it turns out, even the primitive locust is far too complex in its design for today’s computer technology to imitate. But Volvo promises it will continue to study the bugs as it tries to further preventive safety in its vehicles.