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Google patents pedestrian flypaper for self-driving cars

Stashed in: Awesome, Self-driving Cars, My Cold Dead Fingers

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Is this a joke or for real? :)

They're really thinking here!

Of course, driving around with a coating on your car "similar to flypaper or double-sided duct tape" means you'd pick up dirt and bugs as well as pedestrians. So, Google envisions an exterior "eggshell" covering that goes on top of the adhesive layer. This would break instantaneously in the event of a crash, says the patent, "revealing the adhesive layer below, and bonding to the pedestrian."

The patent notes that other manufacturers have tried different mechanisms to prevent pedestrian injuries during a collision. These include a system built by Jaguar that raises the hood of the car after an impact to provide a softer crumple zone for the unfortunate pedestrian, and another by Volvo that actually deploys airbags out of the bonnet. Neither of these, say the patent, address the potential injuries when a pedestrian is thrown from the car.

Turning cars into glue-traps-on-wheels might create their own problems though. Stanford School of Law professor and self-driving car expert Bryant Walker Smith told The Mercury News that the utility of the patent would really depend on "the chaos of the situation." For example, a pedestrian who might have previously been bounced off a car could be trapped there, obscuring the viewer of the driver as they crash into another vehicle or surface. In other words, solutions often create their own problems.

Lol at not injuring the pedestrian by making her or him stick to the hood. 

My favorite comment: Guess I won't have to wonder who made the paw prints anymore.

Lol, that's quite witty. :)

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