Adhesive car bonnets? There's one sticking point, discovers Jon Holmes

Are sticky bonnets on driverless cars a good idea? Jon Holmes hears from the expert

Would you fancy being stuck to this?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Following news that Google have patented a car-bonnet coating aimed at protecting pedestrians, Jon Holmes decided to investigate whether this safety solution might succeed... or come to a sticky end.  

The internet giant has developed an adhesive coating which, when applied to a car bonnet, could reduce the harm to pedestrians in the event of a collision. Anyone struck by the vehicle, says Google, would become glued to it 'nearly instantaneously', rather than being knocked away and perhaps more badly injured.  

Faced with this intriguing possibility for driverless cars of the future, Jon Holmes spoke to health and safety specialist Jim Tassell, who pointed out a potential problem. Or a sticking point, if you prefer. 

"It's a great idea, but when you get stuck to it, who's going to unstick you?" he asked. "This is a driverless car, so there's nobody to get you off it."

A fair point, but also one that - presumably - the combined brainpower of Google may already have considered. 

"You've got somebody stuck on the front of the thing," Tassell added. "[With] the wonders of Google and Google maps, the blue light should come on and the car should take you straight to the hospital, glued onto the bonnet.

"They can unstick you there and you've got all the services you need."

It is an attractive possibility. Watch this space to see how this develops.