Google Glass ok while driving, at least for now

Google Glass elicits strong emotions from folks, but so far it hasn’t caused any major controversy. But as such wearables become more commonplace, societal norms and even laws will have to be put in place as to how such devices may be used. Today, the US judicial branch has set an interesting precedent by clearing a driver who had been driving while wearing Google Glass.

The court found Cecilia Abadie to be innocent after a policeman cited her for “driving while using a visible monitor”, a law which usually stops people from watching TV while driving.  The policeman said that he believes the use of Google Glass and other such devices should fall under this category, but the judge disagreed citing there was no evidence that the device was actually on when the driver was stopped.

While this is a very interesting precedent and will, no doubt, be cited in the future, it all comes back to one of the central issues with Google’s device: the lack of an indicator of when the device is in use.

This problem is at the heart of all the controversy surrounding Glass, and no doubt a problem that will have to be given more thought to in the future.

Source: BBC | Image via Wikipedia

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You'll have to wear this kind of thing when driving in the future, because flying cars will require VR headsets.

Interesting even more so when the glass is actually made to someone's prescription and there only pair of glasses.

I guess Google should team up with the NSA to allow the police remote access to check if they are in use heh .

This ruling reads more like they wanted to pass on setting precedent and avoid altering the current legal definitions.

Cars have a lot of information displays and even windshield displays have been common for nearly 20 years. The problem is in knowing if non vehicle related content was being displayed or not, and there is no way to currently tell what the glasses are showing.

Unless there is a 'locked' car mode that only shows approved vehicle related information that makes the device glow a color to be seen externally they will probably get banned for use while driving as lawmakers take up the cause.

And what happens if you're knocked down (God forbid) but one of the few (for now) owners of this? Better to put in place laws regulating its use instead of burying our heads in the sand and praying that the technology fails to take off.

Personally, I think the wrong judgment was handed down here.

The statement above sounds a very ambiguous to me as it suggests the proof for the prosecution has been reduced to just seeing the device in the drivers possession not that the device was actually used or even capable of being used.

arachnoid said,
The statement above sounds a very ambiguous to me as it suggests the proof for the prosecution has been reduced to just seeing the device in the drivers possession not that the device was actually used or even capable of being used.

Is that an issue? Put your phone away while you drive.

"Road safety and driver attentiveness to driving are best achieved by entirely prohibiting a driver from holding or using a cell phone while driving. To hold out the possibility that the driver may escape the prohibition because the cell phone is not shown to be capable of communicating, however temporarily, is to tempt the driver to a course of conduct that risks undermining these objectives."

Here a ruling in Ontario that would apply to the glass as well making it illegal:

[9] In my view, the requirement that the device be capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages applies to prescribed devices but not to cell phones. In its ordinary meaning, the wording of s. 78.1(1) provides that it is prescribed devices that must have that capability. This constitutes the legislature's direction to the Minister to ensure that, in future, the devices prescribed by regulation be of a kind that have this capability. On the other hand, cell phones are well known as a kind of device that are capable of receiving or transmitting. No similar requirement is needed for them.

[10] Moreover, to impose the requirement that a cell phone held by a driver while driving was capable of receiving or transmitting would be unreasonable both for enforcement and for prosecution. The legislature could not have intended that result.

[11] The significant challenge for law enforcement is readily apparent. There can be no doubt that s. 78.1(1) was targeted principally at cell phones. Observing a driver holding or using a cell phone while driving would not be enough if this requirement existed. For each case, the police would also have to find ways to immediately acquire and test the cell phone in order to determine that it was capable of receiving or transmitting. I do not think that the legislature would have intended such a burden to be imposed by a section that is otherwise designed to operate in a simple and straightforward way.

[12] It would also be unreasonable for prosecution. Where for example the charge is using a cell phone while driving, to require the Crown, once it has proven the use of a cell phone to communicate, to also prove that the cell phone that was being used to communicate is capable of doing so is unnecessary. It would be unreasonable to read s. 78.1(1) to impose such a burden.

[13] Finally, the legislative purpose of s. 78.1(1) must be considered. In R. v. Kazemi, (issued simultaneously with these reasons) this court described that purpose as ensuring road safety and driver attentiveness to driving. It is best served by applying the requirement that the device be capable of receiving or transmitting only to prescribed devices, but not to cell phones. Road safety and driver attentiveness to driving are best achieved by entirely prohibiting a driver from holding or using a cell phone while driving. To hold out the possibility that the driver may escape the prohibition because the cell phone is not shown to be capable of communicating, however temporarily, is to tempt the driver to a course of conduct that risks undermining these objectives.

[14] For these reasons I conclude that s. 78.1(1) of the HTA does not require that the cell phone held or used by a driver while driving be shown to be capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.

<for “driving while using a visible monitor”>
What about GPS and the likes? Would that not fall under the same law? Or are their screens not considered a visible monitor?

Odom said,
<for “driving while using a visible monitor”>
What about GPS and the likes? Would that not fall under the same law? Or are their screens not considered a visible monitor?

There is a distinction between information screens relative to the vehicle, and screens playing Avatar.

A car dash is a massive array of monitors, with Corvettes having LCD screen dashes going back to 1984 that look more a airplane than a car. With the new Corvette using an array of flat panel LCDs to replace the instruments.

However, add anything that doesn't have to do with the car, and it becomes illegal most places.

Even modification of instrument panels or things that distract or add visibility are illegal; from fuzzy dice in some places to an oversized visor that wasn't designed into the vehicle.

GPS screen fall into an 'extension' to the instrument display of the car - just as video screens that show the road, etc.


Dont see a problem with it. Not like the screen is covering the whole eye and would cause a problem. There are devs also developing driving apps for Glass

The problem is the distractions.. you could always watch movies and such on it too (even read a book?), too many ways for it to be abused.

Max Norris said,
The problem is the distractions.. you could always watch movies and such on it too (even read a book?), too many ways for it to be abused.

Agreed. If you're not allowed to have so-called onboard entertainment with a console screen (built into the vehicle or aftermarket) turned on and playing something to distract you, I don't see how Google Glass can get away with it.

Something tells me this judge has not tried Google Glass for him/herself.

Max Norris said,
The problem is the distractions.. you could always watch movies and such on it too (even read a book?), too many ways for it to be abused.

But are we into banning thinks because they might be abused? Because, on that argument, they might equally not be abused so should be permitted.

Do you drive with your cell phone in your pocket? You should be pulled over because you might take it out and text while driving.

America turning socialist? Ugh...

Scabrat said,
Do you drive with your cell phone in your pocket? You should be pulled over because you might take it out and text while driving.

In your pocket isn't exactly the same thing as on your head ready to use now is it? The wife's van has a TV in the back seat too and I could potentially put on cruise control so I could watch it. Does it apply here? Nah. Reason they don't put it in the driver's visor? Hrmmm.

Scabrat said,
America turning socialist? Ugh...

Quaint.

Max Norris said,

In your pocket isn't exactly the same thing as on your head ready to use now is it? The wife's van has a TV in the back seat too and I could potentially put on cruise control so I could watch it. Does it apply here? Nah. Reason they don't put it in the driver's visor? Hrmmm.


Quaint.

But if its not on, there is no screen in your vision.

And I think it does apply because when you get a text its tempting to look at it. It seems people are worried about the temption of it being on and distracting. A cell phone call or text message very tempting to a lot of people.

You can delay looking at your phone when you get a text/call. You can keep your google glass turned off.

Also, glass and a tv arent the same thing either... So not a valid comparison there either.

Max Norris said,
Wear their regular prescription glasses while driving.

Why should they have to? If Google Glass isn't on (although, i wouldn't think it's any different to most HUD sat navs, but that's another discussion) then there's no reason they should be banned from having it on their face.

MikeChipshop said,
Why should they have to?

Because it's too tempting to just leave it on and think to yourself "Gee the cops probably won't know either way." Meanwhile the idiots who do leave it on can cause a wreck, just begging to be sued into the stone age. Is it a huge inconvenience and waste of time to take that one second to switch lenses?

MikeChipshop said,

Why should they have to? If Google Glass isn't on (although, i wouldn't think it's any different to most HUD sat navs, but that's another discussion) then there's no reason they should be banned from having it on their face.

If you can't tell if its on or if its been on, then it shouldn't be allowed at all. There is literally zero reason anyone needs to wear it, so why should we even allow the risk of allowing people to wear it when it could just as easily cause accidents as the many other distraction people already succumb to. It makes no sense to allow it.

Max Norris said,
Wear their regular prescription glasses while driving.

ummm, no. i'm not going to carry around another pair of glasses. I don't do it for prescription sunglasses now, if i had google glass, i wouldn't do it then either.

spenser.d said,
Eh, should've been upheld. No reason to be wearing it while driving, off or not.

In my opinion, someone wearing Google Glass while driving shouldn't be a problem.

It's not like people would use it to watch movies or a video game while driving. I could see it being used for GPS or simply as a heads up display, similar to what car manufacturers already install inside of their dashboards, sometimes projecting information onto the windshield.

Even if someone did use Google Glass to send a text, isn't it better for them to do it with both hands on the wheel and eyes straight ahead? Rather than one hand on a cellphone typing on a tiny screen with eyes jumping from phone to road?

Buttus said,

ummm, no. i'm not going to carry around another pair of glasses. I don't do it for prescription sunglasses now, if i had google glass, i wouldn't do it then either.


Then just leave it in your car? Most cars nowadays come with holders for glasses, just keep it in there.

Couldn't agree more, spencer!!

About as stupid as driving while texting!!

Personally,
I don't think a cell phone should ever be allowed to be used by the driver of a vehicle anyway!

IMHO I think they are bad, look on the Right , part of the device is covering the top right of the eye, and can cause problem when looking at you right hand blind spot when changing lanes

Personally should be no different from a phone/etc (IE, don't be a dumbass) but since "there was no evidence that the device was actually on when the driver was stopped", yea that'll get tossed.. wouldn't call it a precedent though.

hmmm...but you are not afford standard with cell phones. Telling the judge that the phone was not turned on while I held it to my head doesn't really fly.

You can wear Glass even while it's powered off. Why would you hold a phone to your head if it's powered off, barring imaginary conversations? Although it wouldn't surprise me if they require them off your head to begin with eventually.

Max Norris said,
You can wear Glass even while it's powered off. Why would you hold a phone to your head if it's powered off, barring imaginary conversations? Although it wouldn't surprise me if they require them off your head to begin with eventually.

perhaps I had the airline mode on or the sim card removed, or perhaps because it is my phone I am can hold where ever I like. And yes, sometimes I talk to myself, so I hold my turned off phone to my head to make it appear like I am conversing with another person. It doesn't really matter because I doubt that any judge will care that the phone was non operational at the time of the ticket and will find you guilty.

but the judge disagreed citing there was no evidence that the device was actually on when the driver was stopped.

Is the google glass that dumb.