Google Patents Idea for Sticky Car Hood

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Robert T. Lynch, PE, Senior Collision Reconstruction Engineer ::::
Upon reading this headline, visions of one’s childhood on a trampoline in a Velcro® suit may come to mind. One might also think, why in the world would cars want to catch people like flies? The answer is: pedestrian safety. Trapping a pedestrian on a car’s hood would prevent the secondary impact that occurs after a pedestrian is initially struck by the front of a vehicle and then impacts the roof, ground or other vehicle/object. This secondary impact is often the impact that causes the most severe injuries to the pedestrian.
As the technology for the Google Car is rapidly advancing in anticipation of the fully-autonomous vehicle seeing production in the near future, the patent appears to be a temporary solution to keep pedestrians safe around the driverless cars when they hit the road while pedestrian identification technology improves. Google acknowledges that collisions between a vehicle and pedestrian may still occur and it is desirable to provide vehicles with pedestrian safety mechanisms to mitigate injuries for this foreseeable event.
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Will Cars Monitor Your Health?

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Robert S. Kinder, Jr., Mechanical Engineer ::::
Technologies in cars reach new levels every day to meet the demand for safety, comfort, style, and performance. Automakers now move to broaden vehicle capabilities to ensure that occupants are in good health. The current goal is to monitor vital health signs such as blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar, and stress. Many companies plan to use a seat that contains sensors to monitor various health parameters. In addition to the seat, the steering wheel can be equipped with sensors.
The Munich Technical University has conducted research along with BMW. The research resulted in a steering wheel that monitors infrared reflectance through the driver’s fingers to measure heart rate and oxygen saturation. They were also able to monitor stress by measuring skin conductance. The information obtained by the sensors can be transmitted to the vehicle’s display, allowing the driver or occupants to be aware of potential problems. Continue reading “Will Cars Monitor Your Health?”