Waymo is Designing Collapsible Cars That Crash Into Pedestrians Gently

August 14, 20174min

Waymo has taken Newton’s third law—every action has an equal and opposite reaction—to heart. A patent awarded to the self-driving-car company on Aug. 8, reported by Silicon Beat, proposes a new car shell design that “softens” before a crash to cushion its impact on unfortunate victims. The idea is that if a car can be less rigid during a collision, the accident won’t cause as much damage to whatever—or whoever—it collided with.

“The force of the vehicle’s impact is a primary factor in the amount of damage that is caused by the vehicle,” the patent says. “Accordingly, it is desirable to design a vehicle that can reduce the force of impact experienced during a collision.”

The design uses several “tension members” (such as cables) to keep the car’s exterior rigid in normal conditions. If the car’s sensors detect an imminent collision, however, the car can then cut, release, or loosen the cables to collapse different parts, such as its hood, panels, and bumpers, in response to the direction, speed, and even classification (biker, pedestrian, tree, etc) of the oncoming object. As Silicon Beat points out, the patent doesn’t address whether the design would make people inside the car safer too. (We have contacted Waymo for comment.)

This isn’t the first idea that Waymo has proposed to protect pedestrians from autonomous vehicular injury. In May of last year, Google, from which Waymo spun off, was awarded a different patent that proposed adding an “adhesive layer…similar to flypaper” to its cars so that pedestrians who were hit would stick to the car instead of bouncing off and suffering further injuries when they hit the road. But a car that hits you gently enough not to hurt you in the first place would be an even better option.

Written by: Karen Hao

Source: Quartz

Interesting Links:


CXM Editorial Team

CXM Editorial Team

Published for all CX professionals, the digital Customer Experience Magazine is packed full of industry news, blogs, features, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience. CXM will help you learn what makes an outstanding customer experience that wins both awards and the hearts of customers. And sometimes we share some cool music as well.




Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.


CONTACT US

CALL US ANYTIME



Contact Information

For article submissions:
Editor
Paul Ainsworth
editorial@cxm.co.uk

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
advertising@cxm.co.uk
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Masterclass enquiries:
antonija@cxm.co.uk
Tel: 0207 1937 483

Awards International ltd
Acacia Farm, Lower Road,
Royston, Herts, SG8 0EE
Company number: 6707388

JOBS IN CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Find a job in customer support with Jobsora


Newsletter