Google patents 'sticky' layer to protect pedestrians in self-driving car accidents

Google has patented a new “sticky” technology to protect pedestrians if – or when – they get struck by the company’s self-driving cars.
This idea is to prevent injuries that can occur when the pedestrian bounces off the car onto the street or into another vehicle. An eggshell-like surface would cover the stick during normal use, but it would shatter in an accident, exposing the glue.
The patent, which was granted on 17 May, is for a sticky adhesive layer on the front end of a vehicle, which would aim to reduce the damage caused when a pedestrian hit by a car is flung into other vehicles or scenery
“Ideally, the adhesive coating on the front portion of the vehicle may be activated on contact and will be able to adhere to the pedestrian nearly instantaneously,” according to the patent description.
The patent describes itself as specifically aimed at self driving cars but notes that it can be used on any vehicle.
Car companies have already taken steps to protect pedestrians from impact. Citroen and Jaguar use a device that raises the car’s bonnet 6.5cm on impact to provide a cushion for impact between the crumpling surface and the solid engine block beneath. Others, such as Land Rover and Volvo, have developed outside airbags that deploy on impact to protect a pedestrian from injury.

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