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Google's whacky fly trap patent aims to protect pedestrians

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Edward Hickey
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The Mountain View firm received a US patent for a sticky front-end for vehicles aimed at mitigating pedestrian injuries during a crash this week

According to patent documents, a thin coating will cover an adhesive layer on autonomous vehicles.

Illustrations show a car, but the term "vehicle" is broadly construed to cover any moving object, motorized or not.

Adhesive layers would be on the hood, front bumper and front side panels of an autonomous or conventional vehicles, including cars, farm equipment, motorcycles, semi-trucks, golf carts, ATVs, trolleys, trams, roller coasters and more.

"While collision avoidance systems are being developed, it must be acknowledged that, on occasion, collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian still occur," the patent continues.

"Therefore, it is desirable to provide safety mechanisms that reduce or prevent injury to a pedestrian when a collision between a pedestrian and vehicle does occur."

The coating Google is working on could either be an egg-shell-like protective barrier between the outside world and the adhesive or it could be a coating with the adhesive designed inside the surface, with either version of the coating breaking and adhering to the impacted surface.

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Edward Hickey
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