A new and amazing “sticky” technology has been patented by Google. The technology is intended to help protect pedestrians from serious harm when they are hit by Google’s self-driving cars. The patent for the technology was granted on May 15.
The way the technology works is by functioning kind of like flypaper. Cars equipped with the sticky substance will have an egg-like shell. When a car hits a person, the egg-like shell will shatter and the person will get stuck to the front of the car. That way, the pedestrian does not bounce off the windshield or fly from the car onto the pavement. Ideally, the sticky material will adhere to the pedestrians instantly, so if the vehicle stops suddenly, the pedestrian will not be thrown forward by the stopping action.
Google is not the only company to develop technology to help pedestrians in a collision situation. In fact, Volvo and Land Rover created outside airbags that activate during an impact to help lessen the injuries suffered by pedestrians during a collision. Jaguar and Citroen have also developed a special technology designed to lessen pedestrian injuries.
Unfortunately, no amount of technology will even the playing field between cars and pedestrians, but these innovations do sound like they might help. Indeed, if it can turn a life-ending injury into a survivable injury, the safety tech that these car makers develop is most certainly worth the trouble. In the meantime, when pedestrians are hurt by motor vehicles, they may want to research the incident and the law to determine if they have a viable claim for financial damages relating to the incident.
Source: The Guardian, “Google patents ‘sticky’ layer to protect pedestrians in self-driving car accidents,” Nick Woolf, May 19, 2016