VW

A revolutionary road safety innovation

DDB Sydney | Volkswagen

Insight:
Australia is a vast country, and people living in rural areas often drive long distances to reach towns and cities. As roads expand and cross more regions of the country, drivers increasingly encounter wildlife, resulting in a growing number of collisions each year. 90% of which involve kangaroos. These collisions are so common that many rural communities avoid driving during dawn and dusk, when they are most likely to occur, because no effective deterrent is available.

RooBadge is a revolutionary accessory that transforms the iconic Volkswagen badge into a protective audio shield to deter kangaroos from roads. It comes equipped with an in-car app that uses machine learning to compare the vehicle’s GPS coordinates with kangaroo distribution records. The app then creates an audio deterrent specifically engineered to alert the kangaroo species in that location by mixing artificial sounds with meaningful sounds from nature, such as predator howls, bird calls, and warning thumps.

When a vehicle enters a kangaroo hotspot, RooBadge automatically activates and emits a focused beam of ultrasound (inaudible to humans) using cutting-edge directional speaker technology, which alerts kangaroos of approaching danger and deters them from the road, making travel safer for drivers and wildlife across Australia.

Impact:
Since its introduction in Australia, over 500 people registered for a RooBadge in the first week.

In addition, numerous government and private organizations have contributed and shared their data, helping to improve solutions. Volkswagen has been invited to speak at various forums on innovation, including those held by the government.

We are collaborating with partners from other countries to enhance RooBadge’s ability to deter other animals, such as deer. This development has been made possible due to the geo-adaptive audio technology incorporated into RooBadge.

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