Google Self-Driving Car May Have Outside Airbags

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The Google car might come with technology designed to protect pedestrians as well as its occupants.

The company that has been working on self-driving cars has been awarded a patent for airbags designed to protect outside pedestrians. In the patent filing, Google outlined a system that uses external airbags and bumpers that could deploy in the case of an accident or collision. Suggested in the patent filing are mounted airbags on the outside of the cars, deploying when the car senses a collision is imminent. The company hopes that it could prevent injuries to pedestrians with bumpers constructed from “visco-elastic material.”

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This isn’t the first time external airbags have been in development. Swedish automaker Volvo has pedestrian-sensing airbags, but isn’t using the sort of technology Google is patenting with unique bumpers. It’s unclear if Google is just protecting some intellectual property or intends to incorporate the technology into its self-driving cars.

[Source: Quartz]

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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