Google have patented a new ticky adhesive layer for the front of cars to help protect pedestrians incase they get hit by any of their self-driving car
Google has come up with a bizarre idea to stop people from getting run over if they accidentally get hit by a driverless car.
The Silicon Valley tech giant has been awarded a patent for an "adhesive vehicle front end for mitigation of secondary pedestrian impact".
The idea is that the bonnet of the car is covered in a sticky layer that acts like flypaper. In the event of the car running into a pedestrian, they would stick to the bonnet, rather than being flung into the road.
"Ideally, the adhesive coating on the front portion of the vehicle may be activated on contact and will be able to adhere to the pedestrian nearly instantaneously," the patent description states.
"This instantaneous or nearly-instantaneous action may help to constrain the movement of the pedestrian, who may be carried on the front end of the vehicle until the driver of the vehicle (or the vehicle itself in the case of an autonomous vehicle) reacts to the incident and applies the brakes."
"As such, both the vehicle and pedestrian may come to a more gradual stop than if the pedestrian bounces off the vehicle."
Google acknowledges in the patent that two car companies have already developed their own technology to protect more pedestrians from cars.
Certain Jaguar models raise the bonnet several inches at the moment of impact to soften the blow, and some European Volvo models have an air bag on the outside of the car, along the bottom of the windscreen, to protect pedestrians from head injuries.
However, Google states that "existing technology found in production vehicles does little to mitigate the secondary impact a pedestrian may experience".
It is not known whether Google plans to install the new technology on its driverless cars in the future.
Earlier this year, a Google self-driving car hit a bus at 2mph, while moving to avoid sandbags on the side of the road.
It was the first time one of Google's autonomous vehicles is believed to have been partially responsible for a collision. Most accidents have been caused by human drivers.
Last month, for example, a Google driverless car was rear-ended by a human-driven car at an intersection in Palo Alto, as it waited for traffic to pass.