Daily Management Review

Google to Equip Self-Driving Car With External Airbags


Advent of robotic vehicles, that can move without human intervention, is expected to reduce accidents on the roads and improve the overall safety. However, the probability of an accident or pedestrian collisions can not be completely excluded. To protect the latter from injury, Google offers use of special external airbags.

It is reported that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Google a patent for System for pedestrian leg protection in vehicle impact. The corresponding document No. №8,985,652 is published on the office’s site on March 24, 2015.

Traditional airbags are poorly suited for use outside of a vehicle in the area of ​​the grille, since a pedestrian merely can be thrown straight forward after being hit. Therefore, Google proposes to use a drop-down bumper made out of special viscoelastic material that will absorb impact energy. As a result, the likelihood of serious injury may be significantly reduced.

It should be noted that Volvo back in 2012 introduced an airbag for pedestrians too. The system is based on the use of sensors that are activated in a collision with a pedestrian, forcing a wide pillow, which is covering the lower third of the windscreen and A-pillars on the outside of the machine, to open.

Radar mounted in the lattice of the car determines the distance to the front of the car, at the same time a camera in the rear-view determines what kind of object it is. The system is programmed to alert the driver with a sound and a light indicator if there is a probability of a pedestrian being on the road. If the driver does not respond, and the system detects an imminent collision, it works out and stops the machine automatically. It can also work to prevent collisions with other vehicles.

It seems that Google is serious for maximum-security fof not only passengers who will use their unmanned vehicles, but also pedestrians that may be encountered along the route of the car. Let's see if this idea may be embodied in the final version of drones or so and will remain a part of the patent.

The Self-Driving Car is Google's project to develop an unmanned vehicle technology. Currently, the project is implementing Google X. laboratory headed by project engineer Sebastian Tran, director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University, one of the creators of the service Google Street View. This command was engaged in Stanley project at Stanford University, who received a prize of $ 2 million from the US Department of Defense, winning the 2005 competition DARPA Grand Challenge. The team is developing the unmanned vehicle includes 15 Google engineers, among whose are Chris Urmson, Mike Montemerlo, and Anthony Lewandowski, who had previously worked on the project DARPA Grand and Urban Challenges.

source: engadget.com