Google hopes you’ll stick to the front of of their self-driving vehicles. According to patent #9340178 which is dated May 17, 2016, if you’re unlucky enough to be struck by one of their self-driving vehicles, Google wants to use a flypaper to stick you to the hood.
The patent describes an adhesive layer that “may be a very sticky material and operate in a manner similar to flypaper, or double-sided duct tape,” designed to prevent pedestrians from further injury.
The technology, which will also work on ordinary cars, will bring both the vehicle and the pedestrian to a “more gradual stop than if the pedestrian bounces off the vehicle,” the patent states.
As for what kind of glue Google is planning to use on it’s vehicles, it’s described in the patent as having some kind of “eggshell”-like coating over the main adhesive layer so the car doesn’t drive around scooping up insects and other small animals like actual flypaper.
I’m guessing it would take an impact to break the eggshell and expose the glue underneath. Which, depending upon the force needed to break this coating, leaning against vehicles may be a thing of the past.
Other car manufacturers are considering technologies designed to keep pedestrians safe. Such as Nissan’s “pop up engine hood” which uses tiny explosives to slightly raise the hood of the vehicle once it senses an impact to help stop pedestrians from hitting their heads.
Regardless of which technology eventually proves successful. Car manufacturers are clearly keeping the safety of pedestrians a top priority in the design of the vehicles of the future.