The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Google Patents Softer Car for Pedestrian Safety

    This should be a hit. Google’s autonomous automaking spinoff Waymo has patented rigid vehicle body panels that loosen in the event of a pedestrian crash, mitigating the impact and theoretically reducing injuries. The technology incorporates sensors to alter the car’s “external rigidity” as needed: softening for a human, but stiffening for impact with another rigid object, like a truck. It’s not the firm’s first unconventional experiment in pedestrian safety — another Waymo patent considers covering its vehicles with glue so that when they hit you, you don’t fly off and hit something else.

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