Google patents a sticky layering for driverless cars that can diminish down the harms caused to pedestrians in the instance of a collision. People hit by an automobile will glue to its bonnet, rather than being hit hard, thrown off and further wounded. According to one of the transport safety processor, such a notion can reduce the volume of injuries met in a pedestrian collision. The implementation of the idea is still not confirmed yet.
The Google patent layer is an adhesive coating that would be placed secretly under a protective layer to ensure that it did not attract debris during its route. As per Andrew Morris, Professor of Human Factors in Transport Safety at the Southborough University, “It definitely have some advantage to it as in most of the pedestrian accidents, a person is thrown up high and may meet severe injuries to such an action taking place. Also, when a driver brakes the vehicle in a collision, then there are more chances of the pedestrian being thrown on the ground, thereby leading to more injuries?”
Google has been experimenting driverless cars since 2009 and the as per the company’s data, their vehicles have driven already more than one million miles independently. While there have occurred some minor collisions along the route, the majorly severe accident involve a bus. According to the monthly report of the company, the majority of these incidents occur due to the fault of human drivers. As for now, Professor Morris confirms that it still has to be seen that whether the idea would work in real-time or not. “Whether it is realistic to create a car that incorporates accurate materials and works faultlessly, we cannot confirm at this moment,” says Professor Morris.
Kevin Clinton, road safety head at the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents states that preventing pedestrians from running vehicles is definitely required, but it is also essential to introduce ways to decrease the severity of injuries met when a pedestrian is knocked over. It seems a fascinating idea of how the vehicle technology has evolved. It is but obvious that the technology needs to be developed further and tested to ensure that it functions reliably and does not lead to severe or unintended consequences.
Even Nick Reed, the academy director at the TRL, Transport Research Lab agrees to the fact that this thought makes sense in principle. He says, “The idea behind the patent principle of Google is not new – others incorporating TRL have presented and discussed on the thought of apprehending pedestrians after they are crushed or impacted.”
Conclusion – In 1974, the initial research performed by British Leyland to analyze the future of car safety technology resulted in the development of five prototypes. It featured a pedestrian catching cage loaded with springs that get activated in the event of occurrence of an impact and raised to prevent the victim from being thrown forward or being sliding down. The use of sticky layers is the part of such methods, but it is awaited to see how phenomenally it will perform and what results it will lead.