Google Granted Patent for Auto Adhesive for Collisions With Pedestrians

By Joseph Mandour on May 25, 2016

automobileLos Angeles – Google has been granted a patent for a system that would adhere victims of auto collisions to a self-driving vehicle. The adhesive material would be placed on the hood and bumper of a car, the locations where a pedestrian is most likely to be hit. The adhesive would be hidden under a protective layer on the vehicle, most likely a top coating, separated by an air gap.

In the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the impact would expose the adhesive and make contact with the pedestrian directly. Adhering the crash victim to the car reduces the risk of a “secondary collision.” This happens when a stricken pedestrian could be thrown over or to the side of the car and sustains more injuries. Rather than push the victim toward the pavement or another object, causing more injury, the sticky surface on the car would keep them from going anywhere else.

According to the details of the patent, the adhesive surface would only be exposed when the vehicle is in a collision. The top coat that covers the hidden sticky layer would shatter by the impact. Thus, the adhesive would be exposed and would attach the person to the hood or bumper of the car, in a manner similar to flypaper or double-sided tape.

In the patent, Google acknowledged that self-driving cars could hit pedestrians. That is until the technology catches up to the point that these vehicles can avoid accidents. Today, when a car runs into a pedestrian, it often carries the person along until the driver brakes, throwing the victim from the vehicle, possibly leading to further injury.

The Google patent comes at a time of rising pedestrian traffic fatalities. Distracted driving and more cars on the roads are likely factors. The idea that cars should be safe for people other than the ones inside the vehicle is a new concept. Car manufacturers have been upping the safety standards for the occupants of a vehicle, but there has been much less attention to preventing injuries to people outside the vehicle.

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Posted in: Patent Registration