Google-owned autonomous car company Waymo has just been issued a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a technology that makes cars softer.

The technology, focused on pedestrian safety, is designed to soften the blow of accidents both for the vehicle's passenger and the individual hit by the car.

Safety is achieved when the 'tension members' within the vehicle, that give the car a rigid surface, which will increase or decrease in strength when the sense an approaching hazard.

"The vehicle may identify and respond to a potential collision by altering the tension that is applied to one or more tension members, thereby altering the rigidity of the vehicle's surface," the patent states.

If a hazard is sensed, tiny processors will determine whether a collision is imminent and will become by releasing or loosening the tension members.

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