Accidents involving self-driving cars hitting pedestrians may be unlike traditional collisions after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to Google this week for new “sticky” technology designed to keep pedestrians safe in collisions by keeping them stuck to the front of the vehicle.
“When a pedestrian is hit by the front of a car, further injuries are often sustained when the driver applies the brakes and the victim hits the road or another hard surface,” Newsweek reports. “The patent claims to be able to solve this issue, not just for self-driving cars but for all vehicles.”
The patent reportedly states: “The front region of the vehicle may be coated with a specialized adhesive that adheres to a pedestrian, and thus holds the pedestrian on the vehicle in the unfortunate event that the front of the vehicle comes into contact with the pedestrian.”
The layer of adhesive, which would function similarly to double-sided duct tape, would ideally activate only in the event of an impact, the report notes.