[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]t’s just plain bad manners to let a pedestrian bounce off one’s car bonnet should the two meet at high speed, Google reckons. Who knows what the poor chap might fly into on his new trajectory?
Planning for the worst, Google’s engineers have decided that their self-driving car will keep the hapless victim of an impact attached to the bonnet, while it slows down contritely. How? By means of a freshly patented adhesive layer on the front of the car, strong enough to hold an adult.
Flypaper jokes aside, this’ll significantly reduce the injuries sustained by crash victims. A good many casualties are caused by victims’ bodies being thrown like rag dolls into stationary objects, such as parked cars or lamp posts – or worse, oncoming traffic. With this tech, they’ll have just that one bump to worry about.
Google’s self-driving automobiles are amply prepared to avoid accidents altogether – they use high-end lasers to detect objects and react faster than human drivers – but it’s nice to see some work on contingencies that the rest of the motoring industry can later adopt.
We know what you’re thinking – won’t that make your ride a dust magnet? Google’s way ahead of us: The film gets sticky only if the impact is large enough. So, no, you cannot slap a misbehaving child or your unwieldy fishing rods onto the bonnet.