back to article Reavers! Google patent would affix pedestrians to car hoods

Google has been granted a patent on a system that would adhere victims of car strikes to the vehicle for their own safety. US Patent 9,340,178 describes a substance that would be hidden under a protective layer, only to be exposed on impact to adhere pedestrians or crash victims to the car rather than tumbling to the pavement …

  1. maccy

    bored, nothing else to do but troll ...

    I guess the reason Google are the first to patent this idea is because it is fucking stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: bored, nothing else to do but troll ...

      10 or so years ago Google were the dogs bollocks and most people, even El Register, loved them.

      I wonder what SpaceX will be inventing in 2026? Maybe a search engine for neutered rats.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: bored, nothing else to do but troll ...

      Seems like a decent idea to me. Maybe the reason Google are the first to patent it is because makers of autonomous vehicles, rather than "drivers" are likely to be liable for injuries. Suddenly there is an incentive to develop vehicles which do less damage to those they hit.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: bored, nothing else to do but troll ...

        @ Trevor - I thought something along the same lines, only more in terms of autonomous cars being likely to actually stop following the accident. rather than to keep driving ...

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: bored, nothing else to do but troll ...

          I think that is also likely part of it, yes. Impact detected = stop. So if you have person adhered to hood, you have prevented actually running them over, which means a life saved, at least potentially.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "They'll hit you, glue you to the car, and drive away. And if you're lucky, they'll do it in that order"

    Quality journalism. Kudos.

    Do we know any more about what scoring system will be used?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The scoring system will be worked out by how many inanimate objects you can get to stick to Google cars in 10 minutes.

      It could also prove useful for hitch-hiking.

      1. Dave 15

        I like it... high speed hitch hiking

        Pity about getting them off at the end of the lift though

        Kind of like the idea that you could stick some fat **** to the front of your car and use them as an extra bumper (and yes wit my bulk I could protect against a large impact, but your fuel economy is going to suffer).

        I do wonder how it will cope with car washes, kids playing football and other such normal things?

    2. Eddy Ito

      Scoring system

      It will depend greatly upon what you hit next and how many pedestrians you've collected along the way. Remember, while smaller pedestrians present a smaller target, large pedestrians do block more of your vision which ups the difficulty. As always, a large fraction of the score will depend on form and style as you enter the water complete the maneuver.

  3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Red Flag Man

    An idea from the past

  4. fidodogbreath

    Free hood ornaments!

    Silicon Valley types will refer to this as "disrupting the car accessory aftermarket."

  5. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    You've been "Googled"

    New meaning for the term when you've been Glued to a Google Autonomous vehicle

    1. m0rt

      Re: You've been "Googled"

      gloogled, surely?

      1. glenalec

        Re: You've been "Googled"

        Google-whacking, isn't it?

  6. MrT

    Make room! Make room!

    Combine this with the self-driving Google cars and they won't even have to pay drivers to take the peds to the Soylent Corp. The idea should be ready by, say, 2022...

  7. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    so the documentary... er, movie was only off by a few years...

    Death Race 2000

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: so the documentary... er, movie was only off by a few years...

      Actually, all I could think of when I read this was the "Pedestrian Harvest" mode from Carmageddon:

      1. Peter Stone

        Re: so the documentary... er, movie was only off by a few years...

        I'll admit that the way the 'sea tanks' harvested mankind in 'the kraken wakes' was the first thing that sprang in to my mind.

        However after further reflection, I realized that if Google ran collection centres, then they could become the real life equivalent of the Solylent corporation when the search business collapsed.

  8. Tikimon

    And the patent to UN-STICK the pedestrian???

    If they're stuck on strongly enough to not bounce off and hit the pavement, they'll be stuck on pretty tight. How to get them loose? Energetic yanking and wrenching is usually a bad thing for accident victims.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the patent to UN-STICK the pedestrian???

      No no no, it's not the pedestrian that sticks to the car, it's their clothes.

      So anyone you bump into ends up naked.

      1. Mark 85

        Re: And the patent to UN-STICK the pedestrian???

        Clothes..? Hit someone in a WalMart parking lot in July and there won't be much in the way of clothing stuck to the car.

    2. choleric

      Re: And the patent to UN-STICK the pedestrian???

      I think 3M got there a few years ago already.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the patent to UN-STICK the pedestrian???

      Another revenue stream. They will display chiropractor ads while you are waiting to be unstuck. May also require you sign up for a gluegle+ account before release.

  9. 404

    Let's see what else sticks, shall we?

    Dogs, cats, birds, bricks, trash cans, coke cans, Ameri-cans, Mexi-cans, Angeli-cans, Can-adians...

    What about hail? Or very big bugs?

    Next up, Google patents Mr Garrision's IT.... where something or other is 'gently inserted into the driver's anus to keep them in place...'

    fuck the door and the coat, I'm taking the window exit...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. TeeCee Gold badge


    Is there something that Google are not telling us about their AI systems?

    Just trying to work out why self-driving cars would need the ability to stick hunting trophies on the front.....

  11. Borg.King

    Squirrel removal service

    How much would you pay to remove an angry squirrel, or even a cat, that's landed upon and subsequently been stuck to your car all night?

    At least the birds you strike would likely be dead and easier to remove, not that avian entrails drooling down the front of your car are to everyones taste.

    Stupid idea.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adds a whole new meaning to…

    … the phrase "to be stuck with a car".

    1. Snafu1

      Re: Adds a whole new meaning to…

      Obligatory Tom Lehrer link:

  13. StuartMil

    Sorry honey, I'll be home late, I'm stuck ON traffic...

  14. elDog

    And the last thing the pedestrian saw...

    As he was hit by the sticky auto

    Was his anus glued securely to his head.

    Oh, come on. The joke used to go like this:

    What was the last thing the bug saw when it hit the windshield?

    His butt.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      What was the last thing that went through the bug's head when it hit the windshield?

      Its arse.

  15. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


    Well I got the Firefly reference in the headline even if nobody else did (or perhaps just couldn't be bothered commenting?)

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Ehh

      Well, after Fox proved they could take the sky from you, and tried to reanimate its corpse into a movie, everybody just agreed to walk away and not mention it again.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Ehh

        The film was Universal, not Fox, and it was done for closure.

  16. Alister

    Under present UK law, you're not allowed to pick up roadkill you have hit and take it home.

    They may have to revisit this, in light of Google's plans.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apologies to Kubrick

    "That thar be a fine piece o' ass, me Googies, aye?"


    "Ready wi' tha hack Petey? Hit it. Whoa whoa slow down fer fook's sake, we wants 'er kickin' an' screamin' whilst we rapes 'er!"

    After we'd had our way with the uppity c*nt, we unjacked the hack an' sent the self-driving car on its merry way, with that fookin' c*nt still glued to the bonnet, naked and defiled..

    ...and the stereo blaring good ol' Ludwig Van....

  18. Neoc

    So... no more going to panel beaters to fix that ding - you'll have to replace the entire panel.


  19. Peter Gordon

    Umm.. what if the car hits a pedestrian

    Then plows into a bus? Pedestrian sandwich. At least without the glue, the pedestrian might have been thrown clear.

    Also, I can see ne'er-do-wells throwing things at google cars trying to make it stick. Soon you'll see them driving around with beer cans, traffic cones etc. adorning every surface.

  20. Medixstiff

    It will certainly make any new porno's with the cowgirl position, interesting for the bloke.

    1. Dave 15

      dont miss...

      dont want to be stuck up do you

  21. Adam 1

    choose your poison

    Secondary impacts do cause a lot of injury but the rolling up and over motion also means that the pedestrian isn't absorbing as much of the momentum, lessening the injury. Affixing them will result in much more momentum.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    ..20 mph impact. Large surface area of skin (especially in summer) in contact immediately stops.

    Skin grafts for the rest of your life instead of a broken bone or two, if you're unlucky

    These days (in Europe), bonnets and bumpers are designed to hit the leg in a certain place and then throw you roughly at the area just below the windscreen wipers.

    We may complain about cars often looking the same, but a lot of the front end is designed to minimise pedestrian injury as much as possible.

    1. Swarthy

      Re: So....

      So if they put the fly paper on the back of the car, to catch them as they roll over....

      Added bonus: the trophiespedestrians won't block your view.

  23. M7S

    I supposed if someone keys your car

    they'll still be there when you get back to it.

    Then you drive to the police station.


    Or maybe not

  24. Pen-y-gors


    Hit and run victim, instead of ending crumpled on the pavement now gets to have a two hour journey from hell glued to the bonnet of the fleeing car as it's chased up the motorway at 120mph by the police!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Great!

      Yeah, but they'll be able to sell their mobile phone video to You've Been Framed for £200. There's a silver lining to every cloud...

  25. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Oh crap!

    It's hard enough cleaning the bloody dead flies off the car!!

  26. Klek

    ...and Unstuck, how?

    Strong enough to adhere a normal person to the *hood of a moving car*...

    But when it finally comes to a stop and we'd like to get off, how do we detach again?

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