Google Patents Human Flypaper for Self Driving Cars

Google knows its self-driving cars will need some unique safety features, and it has patented one in an attempt to make pedestrians safer.

The company has been awarded a patent that is described as a “sticky adhesive coating” for the front of their autonomous vehicles. In the event of a car striking a pedestrian, the person would stick to the front of the car to reduce the likelihood of being run over or flung into the air.

"The adhesive bonds the pedestrian to the vehicle so that the pedestrian remains with the vehicle until it stops and is not thrown from the vehicle," says the patent, adding that this prevents secondary impact between the pedestrian and the road surface or other object."

The patent notes that many crash injuries are not caused by the initial collision, but when the pedestrian is thrown from the car onto the ground, and if Google can save even one fatality with this patent, it could be worth its weight in gold.

Additionally, with the autonomous market growing by leaps and bounds, the patent could prove to be a serious competitive advantage. As a feverish pace of technology development continues to unfold in this space, something as seemingly simple as a sticky hood could give Google an inside edge with a feature that may grow ubiquitous on vehicles around the world.