American woman fined for wearing Google Glass while driving

A Los Angeles woman was fined after she was caught wearing Google Glass behind the wheel.

Cecilia Abadie was stopped by an officer in the San Diego area of California who issued a ticket for "driving with a monitor visible to driver (Google Glass)."

The device allegedly violated California's Vehicle Code Section 27602 which states a person cannot drive with a video screen visible to the driver. However, exceptions to the law include the use of a GPS or tracking equipment, in which Google Glass could be included.

The device sports a high resolution display and a 5MP camera capable of taking 720p video, powered by Android 4.04 and 1 GB of RAM. While the specifications are no match for the latest smartphones, its 2011-esque features make it comparable to the Galaxy SII. The screen in the right frame also provides street directions, sends voice messages and boasts a voice recognition system to answer questions. 

The fine could come as a setback for Google who announced that it is planning to make the device usable in everyday activities. The new version of Google Glass comes with a detachable earbud in addition to the bone conduction speaker which increases functionality and comfort for extended use. Google has also revealed that the device will be receiving monthly software updates using the continuous feedback.

The company also plans to allow prescription glass customisation, making it further suitable for day-to-day usage for those of us who don't have 20/20 vision. 

Abadie's fine could set a precedent over the usage of Google Glass during driving, threatening to deem it useless in a vehicle. While the woman claims the device was not being used at the time of the offence, she was also punished for speed 10mph above the limit.

Source & Image: Mirror.co.uk

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She was pulled over for speeding, actually. The Glass fine is secondary to the speeding ticket. I'm sure nobody is actively looking for drivers wearing Google Glass to pull them over. Just don't be stupid while driving.

Wait till a person gets into an accident wearing them and god forbid someone gets hurt or worse. That person is going to be up **** creek without a paddle.

Pending an investigation of how safe it is to wear these while driving, I would say amendments to laws and sections of codes should be reevaluated. Technology is pushing the boundaries of current law and legislatures.

Seems like all these funny ( but stupid morons ) always come from 1 country always in these kind of stories. They all come from USA. Does not surprise me that it was from California state as well.

Even Google basically said this was her fault, from their website - "Read up and follow the law. Above all, even when you're following the law, don't hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road."

Good, I really can't think of one single reason to be wearing those things while you are driving. They already make you look like a hipster doofus; endangering the lives of others on top of that is just going too far.

Ok, I'm going to take the opposite stance and say they should be REQUIRED for all drivers.

Imagine when the tech improves to the point where your video is analyzed real time so the HUD could project at the proper focal length to where you should be looking.

Once you have that you can alert drivers of possible hazards.

From there, the possibilities just increase exponentially.

Although, once Google get their way, cars will drive themselves and they can get precious ad real-estate back.

Shouldnt be worn while driving by there are a lot of old people not wearing these that have a hard time seeing as is. Yet they drive every day and are even more vision impaired.

This makes very little sense to me. They may as well make it illegal to look down at the speedometer, then, or change the radio station, because at least with Google Glass you can keep your eyes directed towards the road.

Jahooba said,
This makes very little sense to me. They may as well make it illegal to look down at the speedometer, then, or change the radio station, because at least with Google Glass you can keep your eyes directed towards the road.

Agreed. She was speeding, that was the real problem.

I think Google glass wearing by drivers will be accepted everywhere very soon.

I find it strange with so many negative comments here on Neowin

you need to look at the speedo to assist you in driving, however google glass gives you the option to watch a film, reply to text messages etc, things that have nothing to do with driving, things that can easily distract you.

Jahooba said,
This makes very little sense to me. They may as well make it illegal to look down at the speedometer, then, or change the radio station, because at least with Google Glass you can keep your eyes directed towards the road.

What's amazing to me is so many people like you that can't see the difference here, and the issue at hand.

If she glanced at her speedo every so often, or checked the road for speed limit changes - like she's meant to - she wouldn't have been pulled over.

Bottom line, right or wrong, legal or not, Google will push this into acceptance nationwide in the end. Cops just like easy safe marks especially in CA. When cops themselves are assigned these things soon, of course laws will change.

Hahaiah said,
Bottom line, right or wrong, legal or not, Google will push this into acceptance nationwide in the end. Cops just like easy safe marks especially in CA. When cops themselves are assigned these things soon, of course laws will change.

Google can push them all they want, people aren't going to wear them.

Dot Matrix said,

Google can push them all they want, people aren't going to wear them.

Well...people are wearing them now...so...

But really, what makes you think that people will not wear them? Do you have a pair that you're able to use and make that judgment because you see no future in the tech? What is it you tell people who dislike the changes made in Windows 8?

A lot of questions, I know.

I have a feeling that you came to this sweeping generalization because, you know, Google != Microsoft.

Dot Matrix said,

Google can push them all they want, people aren't going to wear them.

While I personally do not care for smart glasses I also remember a lot of people making the same comments about carrying around a phone, talking into it while walking etc.

benthebear said,

But really, what makes you think that people will not wear them? Do you have a pair that you're able to use and make that judgment because you see no future in the tech? What is it you tell people who dislike the changes made in Windows 8?

Same reason people don't want to wear 3D glasses to watch movies, because its too much hassle. Also the same reason styluses for smartphones, even though used by a certain market, never caught on as much as touch did. Bottom line is putting on glasses to access information, while neat in theory, is less comfortable than the alternative.

On the other hand, while I see smart glasses as silly, I see some of the arguments against distracted driving as overstated and overgeneralized. If you're driving on the streets talking on a phone or using smart glasses, they can be a problem, because they inhibit your ability to react... but if you're stuck in traffic that's barely moving on the freeway, and there are no sharp turns and no reason for you to change lanes, its not a problem at all. Though I'm sure police do selective enforcement of the law anyway, like they do with speed limits.

brianshapiro said,

Same reason people don't want to wear 3D glasses to watch movies, because its too much hassle. Also the same reason styluses for smartphones, even though used by a certain market, never caught on as much as touch did. Bottom line is putting on glasses to access information, while neat in theory, is less comfortable than the alternative.

On the other hand, while I see smart glasses as silly, I see some of the arguments against distracted driving as overstated and overgeneralized. If you're driving on the streets talking on a phone or using smart glasses, they can be a problem, because they inhibit your ability to react... but if you're stuck in traffic that's barely moving on the freeway, and there are no sharp turns and no reason for you to change lanes, its not a problem at all. Though I'm sure police do selective enforcement of the law anyway, like they do with speed limits.


A stilo on a 3.5" is indeed not as practical as on a 6" one. Still in the good old time of WM I used it a lot and I would use today as well on my 920;

They should be preemptively banning the use of Google glass when driving while they conduct testing to see if it too much of a distraction, they can unban it if necessary.

Excellent citation. If and when government wants to get serious about "distracted driving" as they are trying to do with drunk driving; instead of giving it a lot of lip service, confiscate the device and have the owner pick it up the next day at the local police station. (As for those people who are concerned about the privacy of information, the unit can be placed in a sealed evidence bag.)

Distracted driving, C&I, whatever you call it...anything that takes your attention from the road, should be an infraction. If she thinks she is in the wrong, that's why we have a court system.
Either pay the fine, or go to court. After it is adjudicated, and she comes out on the wrong side in her opinion, then, start a petition, or contact your state representative to get a law passed to exempt the use of such devices. That's how it (is suppose to) works in the USA. Personally, I don't want someone driving with one of these on. It's bad enough having someone munching away on a big mac, while listening to music so loud you can't hear anything, while yacking on the phone, all the while propelling a 3-5000 pound or more
missile at 70 or more miles per hour on the road. Now add WATCHING something 1/4" away from their eye? If you are going to yack on a phone, at the least, do it hands free. I use to think the "self driving" car was silly, now, not so much. Maybe humans have "evolved" to the point where we can't be trusted to operate a motor vehicle on our own?

I commented on her Google+ rant about it with something along the lines of this:

You probably wouldn't have been pulled over if you were paying attention to what's around you and not speeding. The Police Officer didn't use a radar to catch you, he drove behind you for long enough to see that you were speeding enough over the limit that it wasn't until he put on his lights that you even noticed him.

If I were a Police Officer, I'd be really concerned that you were doing something to distract you from driving to the speed limit and from driving with due care and attention. I'm all for the Google Glass project, but people like this woman kind of put me off of it. Maybe she'd benefit from a Google Glass app that displays your speed measured by GPS and what the speed limit is on that road...

She wouldn't have been pulled over if she was driving the limit and paying attention though.

Edit - oops, read that as "would have been fined" not "fine"...

They could improve the glasses for driving , aswell for doctors to operate better.
The cop ? He could wear inteligent glasses too with face recognition .

Decebalvs Rex said,
They could improve the glasses for driving , aswell for doctors to operate better.
The cop ? He could wear inteligent glasses too with face recognition .

Google Glass has already been used to stream live feed of operations to other doctors and universities.

While they can give you some useful information while driving they can also be a distraction if you get any other notification there (mail, chat...) so IMO the cop probably did the right thing in this case.

ichi said,

snip

You're not getting it. He's talking about the hypocrisy of legalities when it comes to the privileges between a civilian and an "authority".

Decebalvs Rex said,
They could improve the glasses for driving , aswell for doctors to operate better.
The cop ? He could wear inteligent glasses too with face recognition .

We have to work on "are" and not "could".

Mr.XXIV said,

You're not getting it. He's talking about the hypocrisy of legalities when it comes to the privileges between a civilian and an "authority".

If that is his point I'm not seeing it in the way he worded his post.

I personally don't think this is clear-cut and can be challenged in court. For example if Google glass counts as a monitor (which is subject to a legal interpretation) why doesn't a car's HUD?

Breach said,
I personally don't think this is clear-cut and can be challenged in court. For example if Google glass counts as a monitor (which is subject to a legal interpretation) why doesn't a car's HUD?


A cars hud tells you things you need to know while driving. Glass doesn't - its akin to using a smartphone while driving and just shouldn't be done.

spenser.d said,

A cars hud tells you things you need to know while driving. Glass doesn't - its akin to using a smartphone while driving and just shouldn't be done.

Well actually Glass does if you are using it for directions, the problem is that it can also be showing additional information that can be distracting.

Then again something similar happens if you were using your phone as GPS while driving. It's usually easier to tell for a cop if you are interacting with your phone while driving, but eg. with a Moto X or a Nexus 5 you could be replying to mails or whatever while driving without touching the phone at all, which would be about as potentially distracting and dangerous as Glass.

Breach said,
I personally don't think this is clear-cut and can be challenged in court. For example if Google glass counts as a monitor (which is subject to a legal interpretation) why doesn't a car's HUD?

The car's HUD doesn't obstruct the view through the windshield either.

ichi said,

Well actually Glass does if you are using it for directions, the problem is that it can also be showing additional information that can be distracting.

Then again something similar happens if you were using your phone as GPS while driving. It's usually easier to tell for a cop if you are interacting with your phone while driving, but eg. with a Moto X or a Nexus 5 you could be replying to mails or whatever while driving without touching the phone at all, which would be about as potentially distracting and dangerous as Glass.

Glass for directions while driving isn't necessary for driving like things in the cars dash are, and there are less obstructive devices to use for that purpose if you want to.

spenser.d said,

Glass for directions while driving isn't necessary for driving like things in the cars dash are, and there are less obstructive devices to use for that purpose if you want to.

I've never used Glass myself so I don't know how obstructive they are. From what I've hard you'd have to look slightly upwards to see the display.

I agree about Glass not being the best idea while driving when you can use more convenient devices for directions, but then again there's people attaching things like a Nexus7 to their dash. Those would be more distracting than Glass as you have to take your eyes completely out of the road to see the GPS, yet you wouldn't get a ticket for that. And same for badly placed GPSs.

I mean, you should probably get a ticket for using Glass while driving but it's still not really worse than lots of other solutions that aren't currently warranting a ticket.

I guess it's hard to draw a line on the proper place when people are using so many different devices on their cars, which also happen to lack any proper specific place to attach a GPS to be used in the safest possible way.

I cannot agree with this. Having a projection in front of your eyes is different than having to actively interact / look at another device which causes you to look away from the road. Also the HUD in my vehicle, although tremendously useful, does cause me to look away from the road as the image is a holo projection above the dashboard (still better than having to look at the speedometer for example). I am not familiar with how the Google Glass thing work but as far as I understand it it's a passive projection in front of one's eye which does not obstruct the line of sight (and I may be wrong here).

Breach said,
I cannot agree with this. Having a projection in front of your eyes is different than having to actively interact / look at another device which causes you to look away from the road. Also the HUD in my vehicle, although tremendously useful, does cause me to look away from the road as the image is a holo projection above the dashboard (still better than having to look at the speedometer for example). I am not familiar with how the Google Glass thing work but as far as I understand it it's a passive projection in front of one's eye which does not obstruct the line of sight (and I may be wrong here).

Yes, but your brain literally can't focus on two different things at once, so even if what you say is how it works, its still as bad as having to look away at anything else.

spenser.d said,


A cars hud tells you things you need to know while driving. Glass doesn't - its akin to using a smartphone while driving and just shouldn't be done.


I guess that adding a "driving mode", which would show only directions or other information related to driving will not be very difficult.

M_Lyons10 said,

The car's HUD doesn't obstruct the view through the windshield either.

Neither do prescription or sunglasses. If these smartglasses work as the HUD you have the same experience. Actually HUD systems are kind of older technology: it was first implemented on fighter jets like the F 16 and F18 but more modern ones like the F35 have implemented a technology that projects info directly on the visor of the helmet.

Hello,

Intrersting but yes, I completely agree.

I dont know how the GUI (or should we call it NUI, Natural User Interface) works yet but its clear that it might not be ready to be legal in most states.

I wish Google would try the windshield area. There are companies already doing screens on windshields that give so much helpful info to the driver.

Quick read

Well it sort of makes sense, the screen is in direct line of sight to the road
as most gps or satnavs are either fitted to the windscreen off to one side just close enough to be glanced at, or they're fitted to the dash via a built in system.

Dushmany said,
Quick read

Well it sort of makes sense, the screen is in direct line of sight to the road
as most gps or satnavs are either fitted to the windscreen off to one side just close enough to be glanced at, or they're fitted to the dash via a built in system.


And if memory serves, California has very strict rules about where a GPS can be as well. I don't think it can be mounted to the windshield at all. Which, if right, would be to limit obstructions that Google Glass would then introduce...

Dushmany said,
Quick read

Well it sort of makes sense, the screen is in direct line of sight to the road

Is it? I can't possibly really know without having ever used them, but I think reviews and such talked about the display being above your line of sight.

Without having tested them I cannot say for sure, but the screen on the glasses would require concentration to view/read whatever's on display, so in a sense, maybe 'direct line of sight' was an exxageration, but I was thinking about the concentration required for reading.viewing whatever's on display taking concentration away from the task of driving.

Afterall, it only takes a momentary lapse in concentration driving, to lose control of a vehicle and that could escalate into a horrific crash, to which the driver would claim it was an accident and so on and so forth.
So one way to avoid all of that is to not allow those glasses in the first place.

Edited by Aheer.R.S., Nov 3 2013, 3:21pm :

ichi said,

Is it? I can't possibly really know without having ever used them, but I think reviews and such talked about the display being above your line of sight.

Yes, but still in your sight field, and that's not allowed on the road. Then you could say everything is allowed, like smartphones, etc.

M_Lyons10 said,

And if memory serves, California has very strict rules about where a GPS can be as well. I don't think it can be mounted to the windshield at all. Which, if right, would be to limit obstructions that Google Glass would then introduce...

I have never tried Google glass but my understanding is that they work on the same principle of a HUD system. If so they would be by far safer to use for navigation than any other display on the vehicle. My car has a HUD system and it is extremely useful because you do not have to lower your line of sight to check the car display, you check directions and other information maintaining your line of sight on the road.