A world-first driverless ute will be trialled on regional NSW roads in a bid to prevent crashes caused by kangaroos.
The State Government will retrofit a crew cab with automation technology to help detect the native Australian marsupials and protect drivers.
NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said current driverless technology could not react to the unpredictability of kangaroos.
“No other country has to deal with the unpredictability of kangaroos hopping in front of cars, so I’m excited we’re trialling technology that protects drivers as well as wildlife on country roads,” she said.
There are about 100 serious injuries a year on NSW roads due to collisions with kangaroos and wallabies.
In 2018 two people died in collisions with kangaroos, with the drought forcing the marsupial to head into regional towns searching for food and water.
It will take eight months to retrofit the ute with the technology before it takes to roads around Dubbo for a year of testing.
“If we can have in future automated vehicles — or future cars — the ability to detect a kangaroo is going to be a godsend to people travelling on country and regional roads,” Ms Pavey told 2GB radio.
The driverless ute would be supervised at all times, she said.