How do you protect the texting pedestrian from getting run over by a self-driving car? Well, the person could pay attention and look both ways. Nah, that’s too easy. Google? The company’s answer for its self-driving car fleet could be to wrap the hood of the car in what amounts to flypaper.
It sounds crazy but not outside the realm of possibility. Here’s how the system would work according to the patent. An adhesive coating would be applied to the car with an eggshell-like coating protecting it. The car goes full GTA V and lines up a pedestrian. Upon impact, the coating breaks and the adhesive layer collects another human. Achievement unlocked.
Only the force of the impact would be enough to crack the coating. Right. Google’s research team has never been behind a dump truck loaded with loose gravel. The idea is the initial collision would be softened, and the person wouldn’t be tossed forward.
Instead, you’re going to have one hell of a concussion according to the patent diagram:
Yeah, let’s make everyone practice the tuck and roll maneuver. Having the back of my head smashed into a Google windshield? Pass. I’ve had a whiplash concussion before, and it sucks. Best idea? People crossing the road should look up from their phones. The texting marathon can wait until you cross the street.
The human flypaper idea is only a patent and Google was quick to point out that fact to the San Jose Mercury News:
“We hold patents on a variety of ideas. Some of those ideas later mature into real products and services, some don’t.”
Well, damn. So much for opting for the flypaper option on your new car. It’s a wild idea, but self-driving cars will need a solution when one inevitably hits a person crossing the street. Is collecting them on the hood the best of ideas? Maybe not, but hit-and-runs would take a dive.
Check the hood.