If there’s one thing that has people worried about the incoming innovation of self-driving cars, it’s the chance for collisions. Yes, whatever technology the manufacturers of autonomous automobiles are using will likely be less fallible than a human being, but it still makes people uneasy to think of a heartless machine turning the wheel of a ton of moving steel.
What happens if a driverless car hits an animal, or a person? Will it know to immediately stop, check for injuries, and administer first aid? Well, all that last stuff probably won’t happen, but Google may have found a very unique solution to the anxiety of collisions with self-driving cars.
As confirmed by Mercury News, Google has just patented a new technology that will have people quite literally stick to an autonomous automobile after hitting into it. Coating the entire car, the adhesive layer will only reveal itself after something is hit, as it will be covered by a non-stick outer layer.
Then, upon a collision, the glue will be released, then having the person struck stick to the car, preventing them from being struck backwards. This could prove to be a crucial safety feature, as often times in pedestrian collision, it is the “backlash” from when the driver stops after running into a person that causes the most damage.
“The adhesive layer may be a very sticky material and operate in a manner similar to flypaper, or double-sided duct tape,” notes the official patent.
But, as many media outlets have pointed out, just because a patent exists for this car-glue, it doesn’t mean it will actually be a feature of driverless Google cars. Large tech companies patent all sorts of technologies, many of which are never mass produced or applied to consumer products.
And certainly Google would ideally release an autonomous car that can avoid crashes altogether, though the glue layer may be kept on board as a safety net if such an innovation can even be achieved.
Featured image courtesy of: Wikimedia