In 1896, a pedestrian was hit, killed and recorded for the first time. In those days, cars were very angular and were designed with little thought about the chance that they might collide with a pedestrian who unexpectedly runs into the street.
The incident caused carmakers and engineers to look for ways to save lives.
A small revolution took place in 1927 when the “Pedestrian Safety Device” was introduced. The device was designed to roll people sleeping in the street forward so they didn’t get crushed under the wheels.
This device was first introduced to the public in Berlin, Germany in 1927. It was actually less of a safety device and more of a huge hammock attached to the front of the car that could “catch” a jaywalking pedestrian at any time.
The new device had several shortcomings. The huge structure of the hammock reduced the driver’s field of vision, and the catcher limited the car’s maneuverability in tight spaces.
A couple of years after the first catcher was introduced, two guys from Great Britain decided to present their own interpretation. Unlike the early catcher that was always expanded, the British invention made it possible to only deploy the catcher in an emergency situation. All the driver had to do was flick a lever next to the steering wheel and the pedestrian would be saved.