Autonomous cars: Google patents ‘sticky’ car bonnet that clings onto pedestrians

Tech giant Google has filed a patent for a ‘sticky’ layer that can be applied to bonnets of autonomous cars in a bid to stop pedestrians bouncing off in a collision.

The logic is that, if a pedestrian is hit by a car, they’ll do more damage to themselves by bouncing off it and hitting other vehicles or the road.

The patent description states: “Ideally, the adhesive coating on the front portion of the vehicle may be activated on contact and will be able to adhere to the pedestrian nearly instantaneously.

“This instantaneous or nearly-instantaneous action may help to constrain the movement of the pedestrian, who may be carried on the front end of the vehicle until the driver of the vehicle (or the vehicle itself in the case of an autonomous vehicle) reacts to the incident and applies the brakes.

“As such, both the vehicle and pedestrian may come to a more gradual stop than if the pedestrian bounces off the vehicle.”

Although the sticky layer can be applied to any vehicle, Google states that it has been designed with autonomous cars in mind.

One of Google’s self-driving test cars made the headlines earlier in the year when it crashed into a bus.

Yesterday, the Queen announced her support for autonomous cars as part of her speech during the state opening of parliament.