Google patent glues pedestrians to self-driving cars

Google's patent describes a layer of adhesive on a car's hood, front bumper and possibly front side panels sealed with a coating
Google's patent describes a layer of adhesive on a car's hood, front bumper and possibly front side panels sealed with a coating that, when broken, would bare a gluey surface akin to fly paper modified to catch humans

Google on Thursday had a fresh US patent for a sticky coating that could be applied to self-driving cars so pedestrians stick instead of bouncing off when hit.

The patent describes a layer of adhesive on a car's hood, front bumper and possibly front side panels sealed with a coating that, when broken, would bare a gluey surface akin to fly paper modified to catch humans.

"Upon impact with a pedestrian, the coating is broken exposing the adhesive layer," read patent paperwork dated May 17 and listing the applicant as Google.

"The the pedestrian to the vehicle so that the pedestrian remains with the vehicle until it stops, and is not thrown from the vehicle, thereby preventing a secondary impact between the pedestrian and the road surface or other object."

Google reasoned in the patent application that pedestrians hit by cars typically suffer further injury by being knocked or hurled to the pavement or other objects.

Self-driving cars could hit roads within five years, the head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said earlier this month, shortly after the company announced an alliance with Google parent Alphabet.

Chief executive Sergio Marchionne declined to disclose financial details of the partnership or a timetable for building minivans that will expand the Internet company's test fleet of autonomous vehicles.

"It's not sort of 'pie-in-the-sky,' the thing is real and it's coming," Marchionne said.

"People are talking about 20 years, I think we'll have it here in the next five years."

Google-parent Alphabet announced an alliance with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in a major expansion of its fleet of self-driving vehicles.

The company's test fleet will be more than doubled with the addition of 100 new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, with the companies aiming to have some on the road by the end of this year.

The collaboration with FCA marks the first time that the California-based Internet giant has worked directly with an automaker to build .

Google began testing its autonomous driving technology in 2009, using a Toyota Prius equipped with the tech giant's equipment. It now has some 70 vehicles, including Lexus cars adapted by Google and its in-house designed cars unveiled in 2014.

An array of automobile makers including Audi, Ford, Mercedes, Lexus, Tesla and BMW are working on building self-driving capabilities into vehicles.


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© 2016 AFP

Citation: Google patent glues pedestrians to self-driving cars (2016, May 19) retrieved 19 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-google-patent-pedestrians-self-driving-cars.html
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May 19, 2016
I would hope that they include a can of glue release chemical like WD-40 to ensure no one gets their mouth and nose stuck in the glue and suffocates as a result. Remember many emergencies can be cured with either WD-40 or Ducktape. To complete the circle, WD-40 makes Ducktape stop sticking.

May 19, 2016
At first glance this looks like it will be lampooned all over the 'Net; the pictures from the patent application are bad enough, but look for amusing contributions from illustrators as they get a load of this.

My contribution: gee, gives a whole new spin on "hovering like a fly on the freeway, waiting for the windshield," huh?

Meanwhile, what a great way to collect ingredients for roadkill stew!

And for the obligatory sight gag, a self-driving minivan with four or five struggling pedestrians stuck on the front, just turning onto the freeway.

May 19, 2016
Just when I was warming to self driving cars. Thanks Google.
PS. What's the charge for the thrill ride and is it extra if your face is stuck?

May 19, 2016
I'm still chuckling over the image of the unoccupied self-driving minivan heading to pick up a passenger turning onto the freeway with four or five screaming struggling pedestrians glued to its front end. Not to mention the reaction of the putative passenger when it arrives to pick them up.

New options in transportation: glued to the front of a self-driving car. Snicker.

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