Google has come up with a ridiculously weird way to make cars safer

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David Cornish

Well this sounds like it could get a bit messy. 

In a bid to make their self-driving cars less of a menace to fleshy pedestrians, Google appears to be experimenting with the idea of covering the bonnet of their vehicles in an adhesive, flypaper-like 'eggshell'.

Stick with us here.

Google has some sound logic behind its unusual new patent: If you're unfortunate enough to be struck by a car, it's not usually the first impact that does the damage, but the secondary impact - either onto the car's windscreen, roof, another car or the ground. It's this nasty second phase that sees your body fly with huge momentum into an unmoving solid surface, breaking all sorts of important soft bits.

  • Google has come up with a ridiculously weird way to make cars safer

    'Eggshell adhesive layer'

    Google's design would see the bonnet of the car covered in an 'eggshell' adhesive layer: on impact, a surface layer of paint would crack, exposing an adhesive strong enough to catch the unwitting pedestrian, thus reducing the chance of any secondary impacts.

    Google's self-driving cars have an impeccable crash record, but even the tech giant is aware that mistakes can and will happen. No, it wouldn't be much help in high-speed crashes, but it could save lives in 30mph collisions. 

    It sounds like a great idea - but we're not looking forward to having to scrape a half-dead deer/rabbit/cat off the bonnet following an eventful autonomous drive in the country. 


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