Image copyright Google/United States Patent and Trademark Office Image caption Struck pedestrians would be glued to the car

Google has patented a sticky coating for driverless cars that could reduce damage done to pedestrians in the event of a collision.

One transport safety professor said the concept could reduce injuries sustained in a pedestrian collision.

"It does have some merit to it," said Andrew Morris, Professor of Human Factors in Transport Safety at Loughborough University.

Google's patent explained that the adhesive layer would be hidden under a protective coating, to ensure it did not gather debris during journeys.

While there have been some minor collisions along the way, the most serious involving a bus, the company's monthly reports suggest a majority of incidents are the fault of human drivers in other vehicles.

"It will obviously need to be developed and tested to ensure that it works reliably and doesn't cause any unintended consequences."

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