Self-driving cars are coming and proponents claim we’ll have safer roads with fewer accidents. Computers should make less mistakes, won’t get drunk, and have better awareness of their environment. That said, accidents will still happen. Computers will mess up, even if it’s rare, and people will march onto roads without looking just as they’ve always done. Google doesn’t want their self-driving cars to be hurting anyone so much of their research focuses on safety. Usually this means improved algorithms and sensors but their latest US patent is a bit different.
US patent 9340178 B1 proposes an adhesive front to cars so that pedestrians would be glued to the car upon impact. It will certainly change the meaning of hit and run when you’re struck by a car, glued to it, and then go for a ride on the bonnet. The reason it’s safer is that the pedestrian is hit by the car but doesn’t fly through the air to receive further injuries or end up under the car.
If you’re worrying about the adhesive front of the car being covered with dead bugs and birds, don’t be. The adhesive layer is actually under another protective layer with no adhesive properties. Small objects hitting this protective layer would just bounce off but the weight of a person would break the protective layer and become stuck to the adhesives underneath.
You can read more about the patent on the US Patents website.
Images: US Patent and Trademark Office