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Volkswagen Develops a Logo That Repels... Kangaroos

Special Volkswagen logo designed to repel Kangaroos | Photo: Volkswagen
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Daniel Rufiange
In Australia, 90 percent of collisions between vehicles and animals involve kangaroos

Volkswagen Australia has developed a version of its logo designed to keep away... kangaroos.

It sounds kind of out-there, but if you know the continent, it makes perfect sense. To develop this particular logo, Volkswagen teamed up with kangaroo behavior specialists at Melbourne University to find out more about this animal’s behavior.

Every year, tens of thousands of kangaroos are hit by vehicles. That's a huge number. In fact, this animal alone is involved in 90 percent of collisions between vehicles and animals on Australian roads.

Volkswagen Australia is also working on a license plate holder that incorporates the technology found on the logo, which is simply called RooBadge.

Neither logo nor plate holder are yet available for sale, as tests still need to be carried out to perfect the sound emitted by the tiny speakers.

Volkswagen has been working on this technology for three years now. That may sound like a lot, but keep in mind that Australia has several different types of kangaroo, and each reacts to different sounds. VW says that for now, the deterrent effect works with the eastern grey kangaroo, but that new sounds being developed will be used to ward off the western grey kangaroo and the red kangaroo.

Special Volkswagen logo, fig. 1
Special Volkswagen logo, fig. 1 | Photo: Volkswagen
Special Volkswagen logo, fig. 2
Special Volkswagen logo, fig. 2 | Photo: Volkswagen

Among the tests carried out, Volkswagen strategically tested out Amarok pickups equipped with directional speakers, 360-degree cameras and motion sensors for six months in locations where kangaroos migrate. The company monitored their reactions and confirmed the effectiveness of the RooBadge. The technology was first tested with vehicles at a standstill, then in motion.

The RooBadge will work with a dedicated application inside the vehicle, using GPS and telemetry data. It will automatically emit sounds in kangaroo collision zones.

Volkswagen says it is already in talks with European and American partners to make the RooBadge a deterrent for other animal species.

It's easy to imagine the effectiveness of such technology here in Canada with our deer and moose, or for example in a place like the Adirondacks where white-tailed deer are often found by the dozens on the roads every morning at certain times of the year.

Special Volkswagen logo, fig. 3
Special Volkswagen logo, fig. 3 | Photo: Volkswagen
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists