Glue-gle invents Pedestrian Adhesive
It could be the latest big thing in road safety, and it has just been patented by Glue-gle…opps, we mean, Google. According to the frontrunner in self-driving technology, it is an adhesive for the front-end of a vehicle, that is intended for the “mitigation of secondary pedestrian impact”. To put it in English, it is basically converting the front part of the car into a flypaper for pedestrians. In the event of a vehicle-pedestrian collision, the unwitting human will remain stuck to the hood of the car, instead of bouncing off or sliding across the vehicle and risking another impact.
April Fool Day it is not. So we must assume that Google is serious about this.
If you think about it, automakers can squeeze as many safety features into a car, reducing the likelihood of passenger injury in the event of an accident, but pedestrians remain unprotected and at risk of fatality. While Google’s self-driving cars have a host of cameras, sensors and software to ensure safe driving, even the company itself acknowledged in the patent filing that “on occasion, collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian still occur”.
This heavy-duty adhesive can stick a human firmly to a car, but will not gather dirt and dust or pick up insects along the way, thanks to a thin protective material applied over it. The protective layer will crack upon impact and bond with the pedestrian.
Of course the idea needs further thought, like how would rescuers detached the person from the vehicles for life-saving medical care, whereby every minute counts and a moment could make a difference between life and death. What if the vehicle collides with the person and goes off a bridge? Perhaps the glued pedestrian could end up obstructing the driver’s view and the car collides head-on into a wall, with the person flattened between a hard and harder place.
Well, many patents never make it to production, so this may remain just one of Google’s many bright ideas. The budding automaker shows that it is, when it comes to road safety, at least trying to cover all bases and not sticking (couldn’t help another pun) to conventional ideas.