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Google patents sticky car bonnets so pedestrians attach to it when hit

The bonnet of the car is covered by an “eggshell-like” cover that breaks if it collides with a person.
May 19th 2016, 4:24 PM 21,148 47

GOOGLE IS WORKING on ways to prevent its self-driving cars from crashing, but it’s thinking of what to do when things go wrong. In the case of collisions with pedestrians, it has an idea: sticky surfaces.

The patent imagines the front of a car to be coated with a sticky layer surface so if a car happens to run into someone, it would stick them to the bonnet instead of making them bounce off.

The sticky layer would be covered by a non-stick surface and would only be removed if a person was hit. The coating is described as “eggshell-like”, only breaking when a serious impact with a pedestrian occurs. That way, it doesn’t end up sticking to anything else until an impact occurs.

google crash 2 Source: Google

The reason for using it is to reduce the amount of injury a person takes after the car collides with the pedestrian.

The sticky layer would avoid seeing them being thrown over the car or being knocked onto the ground, preventing serious injury.

“While such systems are being developed, it must be acknowledged that, on occasion, collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian still occur. Such safety mechanisms may become unnecessary as accident-avoidance technology is being further developed, but at present, it is desirable to provide vehicles with pedestrian safety mechanisms.

Since it’s a patent, there is no guarantee that it will be something you’ll see with your next car, but considering the efforts Google is putting into developing self-driving cars, it probably isn’t a surprise that it’s thinking of what happens when things go wrong.

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Quinton O'Reilly


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