Waymo was granted a patent last week for cars that will soften on hitting pedestrians so that minimum damage is caused in case of an accident.
How the system will work is that the cars will have sensors, which combined with object detection using technology such as LIDAR (light detection and ranging), that will help to ensure safety in case of an accident.
The safety feature will loosen the rigidity of body panels, bumpers and the hood using underlying rods, cables or springs. The point of impact on the car will loosen itself structurally to minimize impact, using cables.
The course of collision can be pre-determined by sensors, and portions of the car will move into position to minimize the impact of the collision. The system will also determine what kind of object the car is about to collide with.
The state of the technology and its implementation is not yet known, only the patent has been granted.
Source: International Business Times